Opinion: Woke capital kowtowing to China threatens US

ben weingarten
Conservative Opinion

Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow
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America’s leaders are pandering to our greatest international rival at the risk of our entire nation. Business executives are pushing for less regulation and more investment in China despite Beijing’s aggressive acts against humanity. Elites in Washington, D.C. allow it because not only do they benefit financially from the kowtowing, but they are afraid to resist Communist China. What does it mean for the rest of us? It’s a clear sign that the future is in dire straits if we don’t change course.

America is funding its own decline.

No, I’m not talking about the Afghanistan calamity, where we paid for the vehicles jihadists are now rolling through the streets in, wielding our weapons, and using our resources to target our people.

I’m talking about Woke Capital and Communist China—the greatest foreign adversary we face.

Recently, top executives from our biggest companies sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for it to end the trade war–get rid of those pesky China tariffs ASAP, and resume trade negotiations with Beijing.

Now the research arm of BlackRock, the world’s leading asset manager of some $10 trillion in assets—half the size of the entire US GDP in 2019

urged investors to increase their holdings in Chinese assets by two-to-three times.

When BlackRock talks, people listen.

It did this 18 months after China helped foist the coronavirus pandemic on America and the world.

It did so after China crushed Hong Kong, fought India, antagonized Australia, and as it’s threatening a takeover of Taiwan—a shining example of what China could be were its people free.

It did so even throwing its own self-interest to the wind, seemingly, given the frosty “business” climate Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has created by waging a jihad—referred to as a “regulatory crackdown”—on China’s largest businesses, who’ve seen their market values decline by hundreds of billions of dollars. 

It did so knowing that investment in China is obviously the lifeblood of the Chinese Communist Party that seeks to bury us, and reign supreme as the dominant world power — a smack in the face given how much BlackRock has benefited from its ties to America’s federal government, of which it has been called the fourth branch.”

And, lastly, it called for increasing investments in a China currently managing Uighur gulags–even as BlackRock is arguably the most powerful and outspoken proponent of investing in progressive, social justice-oriented companies.

The architect of the Trump administration’s China strategy recently put in perspective Woke Capital’s dangerous addiction to China, in a really important piece in Foreign Affairs.

He wrote:

The retirement savings of millions of Americans currently finance Beijing’s military modernization and support Chinese companies that are complicit in genocide and other crimes against humanity. Even as Beijing was systematically expelling foreign journalists from China and making the country’s investment climate increasingly opaque, stock index providers… continued to add Chinese companies to their indexes, sometimes under pressure from Beijing. Because many American funds benchmark their investments to those same indexes, billions of U.S. dollars automatically flow to Chinese companies, including those that Washington has sanctioned or subjected to export controls.

You might well be investing in those companies through a pension fund, or 401k, and not even know it.

This issue is so systemic that until the Trump administration did something about itfederal employees’ retirement funds were underwriting Chinese companies working against them.

Meanwhile, hypocritical firms like BlackRock pledge allegiance to “ESG”—investments in companies that adhere to progressive environmental, social, and governance standards—in America at least, but evidently don’t care about it abroad.

It’s almost like they’re trying to pay to keep the social justice warriors at bay here at home, so they’ll look the other way at the profits they’re reaping abroad.

As Pottinger adds:

Some money managers…eschew investing in Western companies that don’t meet…“ESG criteria”…but happily invest in Chinese companies that feature atrocious records in all three categories. There are U.S. university endowments, for instance, that could deliberately decide to invest in only ESG-compliant companies in the United States but simultaneously invest in a raft of Chinese firms that flout all accepted standards of corporate governance and environmental stewardship. Chinese firms contribute more to greenhouse gas emissions, ocean plastic pollution, and illegal fishing than do the companies of any other country on earth. As for social responsibility, a wide variety of Chinese companies—from leading technology firms to manufacturers that export globally—work with Beijing’s security apparatus to track, incarcerate, and extract forced labor from ethnic Uyghur and Kazakh Muslims. With respect to corporate governance, CCP cells, operating mostly in secret, wield significant and often decisive control over Chinese companies—making a mockery of Western standards of corporate transparency and independence.

When it comes to the likes of BlackRock, and its peers, it’s “ESG for thee, but not for Xi.”

These “American” financial firms, who grease the global economy with capital, perfectly epitomize the Woke elite, who reject the very system from which they’ve so richly benefited.

That the rest of our elite—in politics, media, our schools, and beyond—are literally and figuratively invested in, beholden to, or at minimum afraid of daring to cross China, flows from a deeper sickness that threatens America’s existence before we even get around to confronting Communist China.

That ideological malady is our growing inability to remember who we are as a nation, our confidence in its purpose, and our mission as Americans in service of it, and our resolve to do whatever is necessary to defend and protect it, and cultivate its greatness, and goodness.

An America Last mentality of Wokeism, decadence, and decline increasingly governs all of our institutions. 

It comes from what the commentator Roger Simon has called a deep moral narcissism

Our elites confess their sins of power and privilege, but support paternalistic policies that hurt those for whom they claim to care most.

Elites virtue-signal without bearing any cost—in fact, they keep others down and maintain their dominant position.

Just look at a place like California where you have tech millionaires and billionaires on the one hand and people lying in the streets on the other.

This is a charade, but its consequences are very real.

A nation run by elites who prioritize politics over merit; reward mediocrity over excellence; protect their friends and target their critics; support tyranny under the guise of health and safety; put foreigners over citizens; and preach national self-loathing over love of country and its founding principles and history, won’t be long for this earth.

Our peace and prosperity will erode; our morale will decline; the will to survive, and thrive, will be extinguished.

So I’m outraged about Woke Capital’s China kowtowing and I’m going to keep writing about it. I’m outraged that they just seem to be following the cues of our purported leaders, who just caved to Huawei, one of the essential players to China’s grand strategy to dominate.

But the sentiments of Wokeism, decadence, and decline among those leading our institutions will defeat us way before China demands that we bow to it in submission.

That–like John Cena, on his knees like a hostage apologizing to the Chinese Communist Party for daring to speak honestly about Taiwan–our so-called leaders already kowtow in word and deed—indeed are actively aiding, abetting, and enabling our worst enemy—shows how far this ideological sickness has already spread in our body politic.


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