Raising concerns over China’s threat to national security, the US State Department has listed over 80 Chinese companies mentioned in the US stock exchange in which US retail investors have been investing unknowingly in Chinese companies.
According to an official statement: “The Chinese Communist Party’s threat to American national security extends into our financial markets and impacts American investors. Many major stock and bond indices developed by index providers like MSCI and FTSE include malign People’s Republic of China (PRC) companies, listed on the Department of Commerce Entity List and/or the Department of Defense List of Communist Chinese military companies. The money flowing into these index funds – often passively, by US retail investors – supports Chinese companies involved in both civilian and military production.”
It further said that some of these companies produce technologies for the “surveillance of civilians and repression of human rights”, as is the case of “Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, China”, as well as in other repressive regimes, such as Iran and Venezuela.
Some of the companies named in the list include — China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Huawei Technologies, China Spacesat, AVIC International Holdings Ltd., Xi’an ChenXi Aviation Technology Corp., Ltd.
“As of June 2020, at least 22 of the 31 parent-level PRC military companies had affiliates’ securities included on a major securities index, including at least 68 distinct affiliate-level securities issuers; at least 13 PRC firms on the Entity List had affiliates or parent companies included in the MSCI or FTSE stock indices; and the MSCI emerging market index included 230 A-shares Chinese stocks incorporated on the mainland, quoted in renminbi, and listed on Chinese Communist Party-controlled Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges,” said the State Department.
US and China’s relations have been getting worse for some time over a range of issues including coronavirus, Hong Kong national security law, and human rights violation in Xinjiang.
Last week, the US terminated five programmes that were disguised as “cultural exchanges,” with China as they are “fully funded and operated by the PRC government as soft power propaganda tools”.
On December 3, the US government had issued an order to block cotton imports from a Xinjiang governmental organisation in China due to the ongoing human rights abuses of Uyghurs.