Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has a conflict of interest. She must work with her agency to combat and counter China on the world stage, all while supporting her husband’s position as a top executive for an artificial intelligence company whose major venture capital firm investor Is backed by the Chinese government.
Danhua Capital is based in California and is financially backed by the Chinese Communist Party. They are also one of the main funders of PathAI, an artificial intelligence firm that employs Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffit. Moffit acts as the chief people officer.
The Chinese firm lists PathAI as one of its featured “biotech and health” investments on its website, although it’s unclear how much specifically Danhua Capital has invested. According to a 2018 Reuters report on the firm, Danhua Capital was established and funded as part of the Chinese government’s “penetration of Silicon Valley.”
In 2018, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) testified before Congress that Danhua Capital’s mission is to use capital to narrow the technology gap between China and the United States. The Washington Free Beacon reports that many staffers from CNAS, a liberal think tank, are now employed in the highest ranks of the Biden administration.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Raimondo’s agency was pushing back on efforts by others in the Biden administration to block Chinese technology firms from working with American companies. Commerce officials are arguing internally, according to the report, that the administration’s tougher approach to China would hurt U.S. companies.
Raimondo said on Thursday she would not urge U.S. companies to pull sponsorships from the upcoming Beijing Olympics after President Joe Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the games over human rights abuses. “What individual companies do is entirely up to them,” Raimondo said. “We’re not going to pressure them one way or another.”
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Canada Joins U.S. In Diplomatic Boycott Of Olympics In China
On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada would be joining the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in China over genocide and other human rights violations by the Communist nation.
“We are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government,” Trudeau said. “I don’t think the decision by Canada or by many other countries to choose to not send diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics is going to come as a surprise to China. We have been very clear over the past many years of our deep concerns around human rights violations.”
Trudeau’s announcement comes after the Biden administration announced a similar boycott that was soon followed by other countries.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.
China has been committing genocide and other human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims and other groups for years. As Radio Free Asia reported, China has been conducting a “mass internment campaign, as well as other state policies such as government-mandated homestays, a mass birth-prevention strategy, the forcible transfer of Uyghur children to state-run facilities, the eradication of Uyghur identity, and the selectively targeting of intellectuals and other leaders as evidence of intent to destroy the ethnic group.”
According to BBC News, “Women in China’s ‘re-education’ camps for Uighurs have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured.” Tursunay Ziawudun, who spent nine months in one of China’s concentration camps, told BBC News that “women were removed from the cells ‘every night’ and raped by one or more masked Chinese men. She said she was tortured and later gang-raped on three occasions, each time by two or three men.”
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