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Billionaire Ray Dalio defends China by saying US has ‘human rights violations’ too

Ray Dalio, speaks at Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 7, 2018. (Web Summit photo, Wikimedia/Released)
December 02, 2021

During an interview this week with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” billionaire U.S. investor Ray Dalio defended China and his business investments there and pointed the finger at the U.S.

The segment began when host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Dalio about his response to the recent disappearances of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, and other human rights abuses in China. Sorkin asked how Dalio considers those issues when investing in China. Dalio responded, “I can’t be an expert in those types of things. . . I look to whatever the rules are” by the countries he invests in.

“And then I look at the United States,” Dalio continued, “And I say: ‘Well, what’s going on in the United States, and should I not invest in the United States because other things and not our own human rights issues or other things?'”

Sorkin responded, by saying while Dalio may disagree with some things in the U.S. “the government isn’t disappearing people,” like China’s.

“Okay, look, you want to get into the policy of disappearing people, I’ll give a little bit of perspective of that,” Dalio replied. “What they have is an autocratic system and one of the leaders described it that the U.S. is a country of individuals and individualism and that’s what it’s about. He said in China it is an extension of the family.”

Dalio added, “As a top-down country, what they are doing is–they behave like a strict parent, and they go through that. That is their approach. We have our approach.”

Dalio added, “If I pick that — evaluated all approaches around the world, I’d be in a bind to find out, where do I invest and so on.”

Dalio’s Squawk Box” comments came after the Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 24 that Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates investment firm had raised $1.25 billion for its third investment fund in China, making it one of the “biggest foreign managers of private funds in the world’s second-largest economy.” The Wall Street Journal called Dalio a “longtime China bull.”

Reacting to Dalio’s comments, fellow billionaire investor turned-Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted, “Ray Dalio is brilliant and a friend, but his feigned ignorance of China’s horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse. Tragically, it is shared by far too many here and throughout the free world.”