President Joe Biden’s top appointee to the Federal Transit Administration recently invested in a Chinese textile company that relies on forced Uyghur labor for the production of its clothes and footwear in China’s Xinjiang province.
Nuria Fernandez – Biden’s Administrator of the Department of Transportation (DOT) agency – purchased stock in Li-Ning Company on December 10th, 2021. The purchase was worth between $1,001 to $15,000, according to a financial disclosure report.
Li-Ning Company, founded by former Olympic gymnast Li Ning, has been identified by the U.S. government and human rights groups as relying on forced Uyghur labor to produce their goods in China’s Xinjiang region.
Beyond relying on slave labor for its products, Li-Ning Company has publicly defended its use of cotton from the Xinjiang region amidst Western boycotts. The company was praised by the state-run Global Times newspaper, in an article entitled “More Chinese Brands Support Xinjiang Cotton Amid Global Giants’ Boycott.” The article praised companies who rejected campaigns to end the practice of forced Uyghur labor.
“Li Ning Co said in a statement sent to the Global Times that it is not a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a Switzerland-based cotton organization that has expressed concerns about Xinjiang cotton,” noted the article.
Li-Ning has described Xinjiang as “an important raw material producing area in its supply chain.”
The State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation has described Tencent as a “tool of the Chinese government,” noting the company has “no meaningful ability to tell the Chinese Communist Party ‘no’ if officials decide to ask for their assistance.” Even the progressive group Amnesty International rated Tencent’s data encryption capabilities zero out of 100, noting it hadn’t “stated publicly that they will not grant government requests to backdoor.”
It provides “a foundation of technology-facilitated surveillance and social control” as part of the CCP’s broader crusade “to shape the world consistent with its authoritarian model,” the State Department report added.
Tencent’s CEO is also known to have direct links to the Chinese Communist Party, currently serving as a Congressional Deputy and member of the regime’s Standing Committee. He’s also voiced support for blurring the line between the private and public sector, even opting to assist the CCP with “law enforcement and security issues” and collaborating on “patriotic” video games.