U.S. hedge-fund billionaire on China disappearing people: They're behaving like a "strict parent"

I missed this yesterday. If you did too, make amends. Not just because the contrast this clip draws with the moral righteousness displayed by the Women’s Tennis Association is so sharp but because Ray Dalio is a major figure in American finance. He’s a billionaire many times over and a top dog at the world’s biggest hedge fund.

He’s also a gross moral relativist when it comes to China’s domestic atrocities.

The most you can say for this response is that he’s not the worst ChiCom apologist among America’s billionaire class.

“I look at the United States and I say, ‘Well, what’s going on in the United States and should I not invest in the United States because our own human rights issues and other things?’” he muses at one point. That reminded me of Trump’s answer when pressed on Russia’s human rights abuses: “You think our country’s so innocent?”

Congrats to Dalio on being qualified to be the GOP nominee for president.

What he says about not being an “expert” on China’s policies reminded me of something another famous American once said. When the NBA was on the hot seat in China for Daryl Morey’s statement of solidarity with Hong Kong, LeBron James said of Morey, “I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand.” In that case, James falsely accused someone else of ignorance to dial down the political heat; in Dalio’s case, he’s hiding behind his own alleged ignorance to wriggle out of an uncomfortable question. Either way, playing dumb about how China behaves in plain sight is the go-to excuse for rich Americans who want to continue doing business there.

How much of an expert does one need to be to look at the photos of Chinese concentration camps and read the testimonials about what goes on there to draw a moral conclusion about cooperating with the CCP? Was the S.S. also a “strict parent” to Europe’s Jews?

Per Axios, just a week ago Dalio’s firm announced that it had raised more than a billion dollars to launch its third investment fund in China. Meanwhile, an organization that hasn’t lost its moral compass is vowing to extend its boycott of China if need be in order to ensure the safety of Peng Shuai:

The suspension of all WTA tournaments in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official there of sexual assault, could result in cancellations of those events beyond 2022, the head of the women’s professional tennis tour told The Associated Press on Wednesday…

“In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault,” Simon said in the release announcing the suspensions. “Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.”…

“I can only imagine the range of emotions and feelings that Peng is likely going through right now. I hope she knows that none of this is her fault, and that we remain very proud of her extreme courage that she’s shown through this,” Simon told the AP. “But the one thing that we can’t do is walk away from this, because if we’re walking away from the key elements — which is obviously not only her well-being, but the investigation — then we’re telling the world that not addressing sexual assault with respect to the seriousness it requires is OK, because it’s too difficult. And it’s simply something that we can’t let happen.”

Yesterday Simon announced that the WTA was pulling out of China. Coincidentally, on the same day, the International Olympic Committee was granted its second video call with Peng. As with their first call, they didn’t release video or a transcript afterward and they made no indication that they had asked Peng about her rape allegations against China’s former vice premier. It’s hard not to conclude that Beijing arranged the call as propaganda to counterprogram the WTA’s boycott announcement and the IOC happily agreed to participate.

The WTA hasn’t been granted a call with Peng yet, by the way. Go figure.

I’ll leave you with this. Most American politicians have been quiet about Dalio’s moral relativism, presumably not wanting to alienate one of America’s wealthiest people. Most, but not all.