The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party is committed to working on a bipartisan basis to build consensus on the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party and develop a plan of action to defend the American people, our economy, and our values.
One of the freedoms that we have in this country is generally being able to access news sources from other countries. This became very clear to me while I was in Italy a couple of weeks ago. While reading the US news aggregators, I would click on various news outlet links from the USA, only to get an error message stating that access was “denied” while in Italy.
Anyway, one thing I like to do is read many different news sources, particularly those that are available to us from other countries. While reading the Eurasian Times this morning, I stumbled upon this article:
This article explains:
A United States House Select Committee has started investigating two New York-based financial institutions – BlackRock Inc and Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) – over their roles in funneling American investments into shares of blacklisted Chinese firms.
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm with US$8.59 trillion in assets under management as of the end of 2022. It was spun off from Blackstone in 1994 and went public in 1999. MSCI is a global provider of equity, fixed income and real estate indexes, which are used by fund managers as benchmarks.
The Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the US and the Chinese Communist Party, established in January, said Tuesday it had sent separate letters to BlackRock and MSCI asking for information about their facilitation of US investments into about 50 Chinese companies, which were blacklisted over claims of supporting the Chinese army or alleged human rights abuses.
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The U.S. House committee has estimated that the BlackRock funds have invested more than $429 million into the blacklisted names.
It is important to note that this is not only about investment dollars, but also about the technical consultants and agreements that are flowing from the United States into China because of these deals. That these investment deals are causing the USA to give up more of its intellectual property and firepower to the CCP and Chinese companies that threaten national security.
From the Government website:
Following a rigorous examination of BlackRock and MSCI's Chinese investments decisions Chairman Gallagher and Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi today launched an investigation into the two firms. BlackRock manages trillions of dollars, drawing from Americans' hard-earned pensions and savings, and MSCI directs the investments of funds from millions of Americans' bank accounts.
Chairman Gallagher and Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi uncovered that BlackRock and MSCI invest or enable the investment of Americans' savings into dozens of blacklisted Chinese companies that threaten US national security or support the Chinese Communist Party's human rights abuses.
In the letters, Chairman Gallagher and Ranking MemberKrishnamoorthi write,
"Our review has shown that, as a direct result of decisions made by (BlackRock/MSCI), these Americans are now unwittingly funding PRC (People’s Republic of China) companies that develop and build weapons for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—the PRC’s military—and advance the CCP’s stated mission of technological supremacy. By facilitating massive flows of American capital to these and other PRC entities linked to the PLA or to human rights abuses, (BlackRock/MSCI) is exacerbating an already significant national security threat and undermining American values."
Chairman Gallagher and Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi wrote to request extensive information from the financial behemoths, including:
“A list of all the companies included on MSCI indexes, and for each company, list the indexes on which that company is included.
A detailed description of the factors they consider when including companies in indexes.
All policies, procedures, and related guidance documents pertaining to conflicts of interest and how (BlackRock or MSCI's) Oversight Committee and other governing bodies have applied such policies, procedures, and related guidance with respect to the engagements with public or private entities based in or with significant operations in the PRC.
A full list of indexes provided, specifically identifying each index that includes any company identified in this letter, and a detailed summary of these indexes including a breakdown of U.S. investor exposure, as of June 30, 2023, January 1, 2023, and January 1, 2022.
The lawmakers also asked BlackRock and MSCI:
If they are able to perform thorough due diligence on all PRC companies included in their indexes, including those listed on the USG red-flag lists or any other red-flag lists. And if so, how and through what means do they do so? If not, what is their process for determining whether to include those companies in their indexes?
What transparency do they provide to the public and to investors regarding the inclusion of red-flag companies in their indexes?”
Read the full text of the letter to BlackRock HERE
Read the full text of the letter to MSCI HERE
A little over a month after receiving the letter from the House Committee, BlackRock announced (September 8th, 2023) that they just closed their China fund after lawmakers’ probe. But in their press release, BlackRock blamed “low investor interest.” Yeh, right…
Morgan Stanley Capital so far has denied wrong doing. Calls by me to the The Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party staff have not eliciting a response yet. So, it is unclear whether BlackRock or Morgan Stanley responded to the demands for more information by the committee.
With all the interest in BlackRock, the fact that the US Congress has issued an ultimatum to BlackRock and Morgan Stanley to come clean on their investments in China hardly made domestic news. Then when BlackRock backed down and pulled its investments from these black listed Chinese firms - again, there was crickets heard from the American press.
It isn’t like BlackRock doesn’t yield a lot of interest. Many, many news stories, such as issues with theBlackRock’s ESG scoring have made headlines in August and September. But there was no interest from the press in this Republican led Committee.
Rep. Mike Gallagher is on target in the video below. The US government can not be naive in their relations with China.
The committee is a new initiative from this Republican led Congress. They are doing important work and more attention and support needs to be paid to them by those of us who care about such matters.
The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party will hold a hearing on September 12th at 8:30 a.m., at Peterson Hall at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, NY. The hearing is titled "Systemic Risk: The Chinese Communist Party's Threat to U.S. Financial Stability."
BTW: I have no idea if this will be worth watching. But if anyone does tune in, please let me know what was discussed.
This article was originally published by Who is Robert Malone and is republished here with permission