With China facing immense scrutiny for their role in the COVID-19 pandemic, two Florida Republicans are continuing to hold the country accountable — seeking to further cut investment ties with the communist regime.
Senator Marco Rubio and U.S. Representative Michael Waltz issued a letter to leaders in the Sunshine State on Tuesday, calling on the state to stop investing pensions in China.
The letter, addressed to Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, requests that the Florida State Board of Administration reconsider its policy of investing state employees’ pensions in China.
“It is of great concern to us that Florida public employees are often unwittingly investing in funds that hold stock of Chinese companies with direct affiliation to the CCP and the PLA, and we anticipate that it will be to all Floridians,” Waltz and Rubio wrote. “Increased scrutiny for Chinese securities falls right in line with SBA’s current management of the FRS. The FRS currently has a number of legally required and laudable global governance mandates, including prohibitions on investing in companies that do business with Cuba, support the Maduro regime in Venezuela, or boycott our ally Israel.”
Sen. Rubio & @RepMichaelWaltz urged @GovRonDeSantis, @AGAshleyMoody, & @JimmyPatronis to revisit the state’s policy to invest state employees’ pensions in opaque Chinese firms engages in human rights abuses and military-related activities.
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) May 20, 2020
Florida’s Retirement System is the fourth-largest public retirement system in the country, with over $200 billion in assets. Many of those investments are in a variety of Chinese state-owned companies actively involved in surveillance equipment for China’s Communist Party.
“Florida’s hardworking civil servants may not suspect that their publicly administered or managed retirement account invests in firms owned or controlled by the Government of China or the CCP,” the letter reads in part.
“The reality is, however, that the FRS holds investments in a variety of such companies. One such example is Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of surveillance equipment used by the CCP to suppress religious and national minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet.
“Another, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd., is a subsidiary of state-owned telecommunications operator China United Network Communications (China Unicom), which contracts with the PLA,” the letter continues.