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US state urged to speed up divesting from China over Tibet and similar issues

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec10’23) – Citing, political, democracy, and human rights issues, including Tibet, a Republican legislator in Pennsylvania is spearheading a long-overdue effort to end state investment in companies controlled by the government of China, with the state Treasurer concurring, reported lewistownsentinel.com Dec 7.

“For too long, Pennsylvania has invested hundreds of millions in government funds to a regime that continues to trample human rights,” state Sen. Doug Mastriano, former Republican nominee for governor, has said to explain his initiative.

The reported notes that China’s abuses are well-documented — from the erosion of self-rule and any hope for democracy in Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan to persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, Muslim Uyghurs and political dissidents and decades of fostering a climate of contempt for basic individual rights.

The report expresses appreciation that state Treasurer Stacy Garrity has led on this issue, divesting the state’s assets for which the treasurer’s office has oversight from entities controlled by China’s dictatorship in 2022.

“I believe it would be smart to do the same across all Commonwealth funds,” Garrity has told a reporter for The Center Square for an article in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette last week.

The report notes that other states like Arkansas and Indiana have also led the way on divesting from China, while Pennsylvania and others have made progress, correctly, on divesting from Russia as well.

While past efforts have demonstrated that it is not an issue that can be resolved overnight, the protracted timeline for doing so is an aspect that legislators must clearly recognize, and that the need to begin the process as soon as possible is only greater.

An opportunity for Pennsylvania and other states to take a stand against tyranny and for America’s principles of liberty are before us, the report said.

“It is far past time to separate our state funds from companies controlled by the CCP,” sungazette.com Nov 29 earlier quoted Mastriano as saying.

It said he proposes to require a gradual divestiture from the Pennsylvania Treasury, the State Employees Retirement System, and the Public School Employees Retirement System.

“I fully support divesting state assets from companies domiciled in China,” Garrity was quoted as saying. “Because of serious concerns related to geopolitical risk and human rights abuses, I directed my investment team to divest all of Treasury’s holdings in China in the first half of 2022. That process is complete. I believe it would be smart to do the same across all Commonwealth funds.”

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