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Conflict of Interest: Biden Taps BlackRock Chairman To Advise State Department on China Policies

by Jamie White
June 22nd 2022, 1:45 pm
Leader of investment firm that's called "strategic competition" with China bad for business now advising Biden admin on "strategic competition" with China.
Image Credit:
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Biden administration’s new pick to advise the State Department on “strategic competition” with Beijing chairs BlackRock, an investment think tank that’s urged shareholders to heavily invest in China.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken selected BlackRock Investment Institute chairman Tom Donilon on Friday to co-chair the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which will provide “advice, feedback, and perspectives” to the State Department on “cybersecurity and emerging technologies, climate and energy, international economics, global health, and strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China.”

Donilon previously served as the Obama administration’s National Security Adviser from 2010 to 2013.

But Blinken’s pick represents a clear conflict of interest because BlackRock has specifically stated that “strategic competition” with China is bad for business.

“Strategic competition between the U.S. and China and resulting tensions have also contributed to uncertainty in the geopolitical and regulatory landscapes,” reads BlackRock’s most recent annual report

In other words, the State Department’s policies on “strategic competition” with China will now be advised by a leader of a corporation who actively discouraged “strategic competition” with China.

In September, BlackRock became the first American company ever to open a mutual fund in China.

In fact, BlackRock has urged shareholders to invest more heavily in China, even going as far as investing in sanctioned Chinese surveillance companies like Hikvision and iFlytek, which were blacklisted in 2019 by the U.S. Commerce Department for links to China’s military.

According to the Commerce Department, Hikvision and iFlytek are two of 28 companies “that have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in China’s campaign targeting Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).”

The moves are so blatantly at odds with U.S. national security that even billionaire leftist George Soros condemned BlackRock’s investments in China as a “tragic mistake” in 2021.

“The BlackRock initiative imperils the national security interests of the U.S. and other democracies because the money invested in China will help prop up President Xi’s regime, which is repressive at home and aggressive abroad,” Soros wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

Notably, the State Department says meetings with the Foreign Affairs Policy Board are closed to the public due to “discussions on sensitive, and often classified, topics and materials.”

Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller called the State Department’s move “deeply scandalous” and called for the GOP to investigate the Biden administration over it should they retake the majority after the midterms.

“This is deeply scandalous and shows exactly how the swamp operates — big government takes care of big finance and then, when gov staffers leave, big finance takes care of them in return,” Miller tweeted Wednesday. “If GOP gains majority they must investigate Admin dealings with Blackrock and China.”

H/t Washington Free Beacon

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