The CEOs of Bank of America and Citi Bank dodged questions about the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide against Muslim Uyghurs in a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
“According to the 2021 State Department report, genocide and crimes against humanity occurred in China in the past year,” said Missouri Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer. said. “These crimes include arbitrary and unlawful killings by the government, arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, rape, and torture of large numbers of people arbitrarily detained.”
“Mr. Moynihan, do you condemn the Chinese Communist Party for these horrible acts that it regularly carries out?” Luetkemeyer asked Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan directly. (RELATED: China tells Europe to step up climate efforts while stockpiling fossil fuels)
“We look at any customer that we do business with, their operations on any matter and make that decision,” Moynihan replied. “So the government condemnation isn’t the important thing about who we do business with in China, it’s actually the company we sign up to.”
When asked flatly if they condemned the CCP for murder, arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, rape, and torture of its citizens, they refused to do so. pic.twitter.com/KPnhxqoMDx
— Blaine Luetkemeyer (@RepBlaine) September 21, 2022
Luetkemeyer then said that the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party were the same, and that the atrocities committed by the CCP were effectively tolerated by the Chinese government.
“We don’t do business with companies that we think are committing atrocities or anything like that, you’re asking a hypothetical question,” Moynihan replied.
“Obviously, we take any accusation of human rights abuses very seriously,” Citi Bank CEO Jane Fraser said when Leutkemeyer addressed the same question to her. “And like Mr. Moynihan, we do not do any business with companies that are involved in forced labour.”
“Is it okay to do business with the government?” Luetkemeyer pressed here.
“We do business with the Chinese government,” Fraser confirmed.
Bank of America sought approval establish a securities firm in China in November 2021. Citi Bank also thrown out custody services for securities investment funds in China, after the approval of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), in July of that same year.
Wall Street chief executives have faced criticism for what some see as too soft a stance toward China. However, financial giant BlackRock has made it a priority to encourage clients to invest more in Chinese assets.
“We maintain our strategic preference for Chinese assets,” the firm said. said in 2021.