(PresidentialInsider.com)- The Chinese private equity fund in which John Kerry holds a stake of one million dollars isn’t just investing in a tech company blacklisted for human rights abuses, it is also a major shareholder in a solar panel manufacturer linked to labor abuses of the Muslim Uyghurs.
The equity fund, Hillhouse China Value Fund, LP, purchased a 6 percent stake in the Chinese solar panel manufacturer LONGi Green Energy, making it the company’s second-largest shareholder.
Human rights organizations and US lawmakers have accused LONGi of sourcing many of its raw materials from companies suspected of using forced labor in Xinjiang. Xinjiang is the region in northwest China where Beijing cracked down on the Uyghur population and other ethnic minorities.
Hillhouse is also a major funder of a tech company linked to the CCP’s surveillance of the Uyghurs. When the Washington Free Beacon first reported on these links last week, Senate Republicans called on President Biden to fire his climate czar over ethics concerns.
With Hillhouse now connected to LONGi as well, there will no doubt be added scrutiny on Kerry’s finances, not to mention further concerns that he is using his role as Biden’s climate envoy to block regulations on Chinese solar panel imports.
While Kerry acknowledged that many of the Chinese-made solar panels are produced using forced labor in Xinjiang, he has shown resistance to the US adding financial restrictions or penalties on these products.
Last month, Kerry argued that the US can’t on the one hand tell China to do more to help deal with climate change while on the other hand sanctioning their solar panels and making it harder for China to sell them.
Republicans like Florida Senator Marco Rubio believe that Kerry’s investments in Hillhouse create a conflict with his role as Biden’s climate czar. Rubio told the Free Beacon that Kerry has been lobbying hard against his bill, the “Uyghur Forced Labor Act,” that would bar Chinese imports made with slave labor. While the bill passed with bipartisan support in the Senate, it languishes in the House.
Rubio told the Free Beacon that Kerry profiting from a company tied to Xinjiang human rights abuses would certainly explain why he has been lobbying so hard to kill the bill. And while Kerry’s financial ties create an ethical problem, Rubio said the issue is larger than that, adding no climate deal should “make our nation complicit” in China’s slave labor practices.