Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Strive Asset Management Executive Chairman Vivek Ramaswamy argued in a Monday opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal that BlackRock “raves about the importance of Chinese investments with little mention of Taiwan” and associated risk factors. While responding to the article on social media, BlackRock claimed that the firm has “highlighted for the past year the investment risk should China take steps to accelerate reunification with Taiwan.”
Ramaswamy argued that BlackRock’s choice of words reveals how the asset management company is “beholden” to the Chinese Communist Party even when “they’re trying to argue that they’re not.”
“They refer to China’s potential military invasion of Taiwan, a sovereign democratic nation, as ‘reunification.’ ‘Reunification’ is a phrase you use to describe a lost child who has been returned to his parents in a shopping mall, not a military invasion of a sovereign nation,” the entrepreneur said. “BlackRock can’t even utter the word ‘invasion’ in the very tweets where it’s claiming it is not beholden to China.”
The Daily Wire contacted BlackRock to determine the company’s official policy toward the independence of Taiwan but received no response.
As Ramaswamy and Pompeo observed in the article, BlackRock became the first foreign company to secure preliminary approval to offer mutual funds in China two years ago. During the summer of 2021, BlackRock told investors to triple their Chinese investments after a selloff in the country’s stock market.
In recent months, however, China has assumed an increasingly aggressive posture toward Taiwan. The Chinese military announced that it sent a “readiness patrol” around Taiwanese sea and airspace this summer in response to trade talks with the U.S. In February of this year, as Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine, China sent squadrons of jets into Taiwan’s airspace following a similar incursion one month earlier.
An invasion of Taiwan would prove especially dangerous to American companies’ ability to access semiconductors. In particular, manufacturer TSMC produces 90% of the world’s most advanced computer chips, meaning that an attack upon the island nation could cause a global economic crisis. The article therefore encourages American firms to invest in domestic semiconductor production and said that asset managers like BlackRock are failing to address known risk factors that could harm their clients.
The economies of China and the United States are deeply intertwined. American goods and services trade with China surpassed $615 billion as of 2020, according to data from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, while foreign direct investment in China was nearly $124 billion.
Beyond the present geopolitical risks associated with an invasion of Taiwan, multiple key Asian manufacturing economies enforced harsh lockdowns two years ago, creating bottlenecks in the global semiconductor supply chain that persist to the present day. President Joe Biden recently signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which includes $39 billion in computer chip manufacturing incentives, $13.2 billion for research and development, and a 25% investment tax credit for semiconductor production.
“One-third of the core inflation last year was due to the higher price… for automobiles and a shortage of semiconductors,” Biden said two months ago. “Folks, we need to make these chips here in America to bring down everyday costs and create jobs.”