Congresswoman Pushes for New York To Divest From China

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) / Getty Images
March 30, 2022

New York congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R.) is calling for her state to divest its retirement fund from Chinese companies.

In a letter sent Wednesday to New York comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (D.), obtained by the Daily Caller, Tenney urged the state to move pension funds out of China just as it has moved to do so from Russia in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

"New York State's failure thus far to reduce [the State Common Retirement Fund's] exposure to the domestic Chinese market is a violation of your fiduciary duty to the over 1.1 million members of the New York State and Local Retirement System," Tenney wrote. "Beyond the total lack of transparency into Chinese companies, the Chinese economy lacks the most basic practices and mechanisms of voluntary exchange and rule of law to safeguard investors."

Tenney accused New York of being complicit in human rights abuses in China and faulted the state for approving "over $38 million in capital commitments to China-focused investments." She cited the retirement fund's investments in Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital as a particularly concerning link to China that encourages "the engagement in human rights abuses across the globe."

The lawmaker faulted DiNapoli for investing in Chinese firms while moving to divest from American companies that the comptroller described as "unprepared to adapt to a low-carbon future."

"At the same time that [the retirement fund] may be fueling the Chinese Communist Party's malign activities, you have stated your intention to divest $238 million in shares and bonds from 21 oil and gas companies … for their failure to demonstrate viable net-zero transition plans," Tenney wrote. "These U.S. companies provide high-paying jobs to American workers, including many New Yorkers. … It defies logic that under your management, the [fund] is focused on penalizing American companies in good standing, while turning a blind eye to investments in companies so closely tied to the Chinese Communist Party."