Under current Governor Gavin Newsom, California’s pension system invested billions of dollars in Chinese companies, some linked to the People’s Liberation Army and sanctioned by former President Trump.
Washington Free Beacon reported that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) had more than $3 billion invested in Chinese companies, including 14 Chinese state-controlled companies that were sanctioned by the Trump administration. Joe Biden upheld the sanctions upon taking office.
Many of these companies are funding the Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure project Beijing uses to expand its geopolitical and military influence.
CalPERS invested $450 million in 14 of the 24 Chinese companies Trump sanctioned in late 2020.
Trump explained the rationale for his executive order, “China is increasingly exploiting United States capital to resource and to enable the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses.”
Records show that Californians’ money was under the management of Chinese companies until June 2020, before the sanction imposed by Trump, so it is unclear whether CalPERS ultimately complied with the ban.
Two of the companies in CalPERS’ portfolio—China Merchants Port and CITIC—control ports in Sri Lanka and Myanmar that the People’s Liberation Army has used for military exercises. CalPERS had $3.7 million invested in China Merchants Port and $110 million in CITIC in June 2020.
CalPERS, which has more than $400 billion in assets under management, also had $5 million invested in China State Construction Co, which has built roads and bridges in Asia, Africa, and the United States as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Another $6 million were invested in China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a state-owned company that is building military facilities in the South China Sea, where the CCP claims sovereignty and assaults neighboring countries.
Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo specifically singled out this company as one of the CCP’s expanding arms.
“CCCC led the destructive dredging of the PRC’s South China Sea outposts and is also one of the leading contractors used by Beijing in its global ‘One Belt One Road’. CCCC and its subsidiaries have engaged in corruption, predatory financing, environmental destruction, and other abuses across the world,” Pompeo asserted.
While Newsom publicly refused to invest pension system funds in Turkish companies because the Turkish government refuses to recognize the Armenian genocide, critics point to hypocrisy when it comes to the Chinese communist regime, one of the worst human rights abuses in modern history, which both the Trump and Biden administrations agree is carrying out genocide against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
“It’s outrageous that Gavin Newsom’s administration would allow hundreds of millions of dollars from California’s pension system to be invested into the totalitarian Chinese communist government’s entities,” said San Francisco Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Faulconer is one of the Republicans running on the list of possible replacements next Sept. 14 if a majority of California voters decide to oust Newsom.
“This demands immediate answers from Newsom and further shows why he can no longer be trusted to lead. We are going to recall him on September 14th, and I look forward to cleaning up this mess when I am elected Governor,” the mayor said in a statement to Fox News.
Newsom also recently made headlines for praising a Chinese state media outlet that, like many of the CCP’s state media outlets, serves the function of promoting the Chinese regime’s propaganda abroad.