In an op-ed published by Fox News on Friday, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio called for John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate czar, to be fired over his alleged ownership stake in a Chinese investment fund that has been linked to human rights abuses against China’s Uyghur population.
Rubio, who is the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, noted Kerry’s ownership stake in a Chinese investment firm, Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P., which was revealed in Kerry’s financial disclosure statement in February. Rubio then pointed to Kerry’s opposition to Rubio’s Uyghur Forced Labor Act, which would bar Chinese goods produced in Xinjiang with slave labor from being imported into the U.S.
“For weeks, rumors have swirled in Washington about President Joe Biden’s climate czar John Kerry and his opposition to taking concrete action against the Chinese Communist Party’s use of slave labor,” Rubio wrote. “Now, we may have an answer about his reluctance to take action: according to a new report, Kerry and his wife have at least $1 million invested in a Chinese investment group called Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P.”
Last week, The Washington Free Beacon had first reported Kerry’s links to Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P., based on his financial disclosure report.
Rubio wrote that Kerry’s financial connection with the Chinese investment fund “raises serious questions as to whether Kerry can negotiate in good faith with Beijing on climate change.”
“But it gets worse,” Rubio added, noting the Chinese investment fund’s connections to a company that has been blacklisted for alleged abuses in Xinjiang.
Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P. is part of the Hillhouse Capital Group, a private equity firm operated by Chinese billionaire Zhang Lei. The fund is a top shareholder in YITU Technology, a Chinese technology company that President Donald Trump’s administration added to a sanction’s blacklist in October 2019 for its alleged involvement in surveillance efforts against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in China.
“In other words, Kerry appears to be profiting from slave labor,” Rubio wrote. “Now it makes sense why he is actively working against my Uyghur Forced Labor Act.”
Rubio then wrote Biden is now faced with the dilemma to either “stand by the man profiting from slave labor or fire him.”
“It should be an easy choice, but the Biden administration and some Democrats are so desperate for a climate deal with the Chinese Communist Party that they are willing to ignore the regime’s use of slave labor,” Rubio continued.
According to the Beacon, Kerry’s stake in the Chinese fund is through a trust in which his wife is the beneficiary and though she is a beneficiary of the trust, Kerry said neither of them is involved in managing the fund’s investments.
Earlier this year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team said Kerry agreed to sell any stocks State Department ethics officials believe pose “a significant risk of a conflict of interest,” the Washington Examiner reported.