State employees may be surprised to know that parts of their pensions are tied to investments in Communist China.
For Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, the matter is alarming, and the two federal legislators demand Florida divest from its stake in red China.
On Tuesday, the two Republicans wrote Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis with a singular demand: that the Florida State Board of Administration stop investing state employees’ pensions in China.
“Unfortunately, like many public systems, FRS maintains investments in problematic Chinese enterprises, including firms owned and controlled by the Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that actively participate in human rights abuse and support the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” they wrote.
Among those investments are surveillance equipment used by the Chinese Communist Party, in a way that almost certainly controverts American national interest.
“Florida’s hardworking civil servants may not suspect that their publicly administered or managed retirement account invests in firms owned or controlled by the Government of China or the CCP,”Waltz and Rubio added.
“The reality is, however, that the FRS holds investments in a variety of such companies. One such example is Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of surveillance equipment used by the CCP to suppress religious and national minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet.
“Another, China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd., is a subsidiary of state-owned telecommunications operator China United Network Communications (China Unicom), which contracts with the PLA,” the letter adds.
“It is of great concern to us that Florida public employees are often unwittingly investing in funds that hold stock of Chinese companies with direct affiliation to the CCP and the PLA, and we anticipate that it will be [of great concern] to all Floridians,” the letter continues.
The letter was also copied to Senate President Bill Galvano and the incoming President Wilton Simpson. Additionally, House Speaker Jose Oliva and incoming Speaker Chris Sprowls received copies.