Somehow John Kerry, former presidential candidate, former Secretary of State under the Obama administration and current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate under President Biden, missed the memo on human rights atrocities in China. That, or the truth was inconvenient for his wealth.
Turns out the “Chinese private equity fund in which John Kerry holds a $1 million stake is not only invested in a tech company blacklisted for human rights abuses but is also a major shareholder in a solar panel company linked to labor abuses of Uyghurs” reports The Washington Free Beacon.
The private equity fund, Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P., purchased a 6 percent stake in the company LONGi Green Energy, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer, last December. The Washington Free Beacon reports:
LONGi has come under fire from human rights groups and U.S. lawmakers for sourcing many of its raw materials from companies suspected of using forced labor in Xinjiang, a region in northwest China where the government has cracked down on the Uyghur population and other ethnic minorities.
Hillhouse is also a major funder of a tech company tied to the Chinese government’s surveillance of the Uyghurs, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon last week. News of that investment led Republican senators to call on Biden to fire Kerry over ethics concerns. Further insight into Hillhouse’s holdings is likely to increase scrutiny of Kerry’s finances and raise questions about whether he is using his role as climate envoy to block regulations on Chinese solar panel imports.
“On the one hand, we’re saying to [China], ‘You have to do more to help deal with the climate,” Kerry said just last month. “And on the other hand, their solar panels are being sanctioned, which makes it harder for them to sell them” he said, while acknowledging many of them are produced with forced labor. Nonetheless, he has indicated resistance to additional financial restrictions or penalties on the goods produced in Xinjiang.
A group called American Solar Manufacturers Against Chinese Circumvention (A-SMACC) has actively lobbied the Biden administration “to investigate the supply chain of LONGi specifically, and other Chinese solar panel companies linked to forced labor, and to impose additional tariffs on those goods.”