The Biden administration’s “climate czar,” John Kerry, is getting some heat from Republican senators over his foreign investments. Demands for an investigation are coming in response to a report in the Washington Free Beacon about assets owned by Kerry and his wife.
According to the report, the couple has invested at least $1 million with a Chinese group that holds significant stock in a tech company in China that the U.S. has blocklisted because of human rights violations.
The report comes after Kerry spent his time as a climate czar downplaying the Chinese government’s exploitation of Uyghurs for forced labor. Several Republicans have already raised issues about Kerry’s private influence of House Democrats to oppose a bill designed to penalize China for slave labor practices, the Uyghur Forced Labor Act.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is the Senate sponsor of that bill and stated that Kerry should be ousted from his federal position due to disclosing his Chinese investments. Rubio said on Thursday that if Kerry has that amount of money invested with a Chinese fund “linked to repression and mass detention,” it would explain his opposition to the bill.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said on Twitter that the report about the investment is “beyond disturbing” and added that the Senate needs “a full investigation” into the administration’s ties to the Chinese Communist government.
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) said that Kerry should resign immediately, and the administration should investigate whether any of its other officials “own a stake in Chinese companies that partake in human rights violations.”
A financial disclosure form that Kerry filed earlier this year indicated he and his wife owned more than $1 million in investments in Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P. That fund, in turn, is a significant shareholder in YITU Technology. According to the New York Times, YITU is heavily involved in China’s surveillance program against the Uyghurs.
Kerry has repeatedly refused to address human rights violations during his meetings with Chinese officials and industrial leaders. His excuse has been that he must focus exclusively on “climate negotiations.” In September, when he asked if it was necessary to trade off human rights to get climate concessions from China, Kerry said that “life is always full of tough choices.”