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Marco Rubio accuses John Kerry of 'profiting from slave labor'

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President Joe Biden’s point man for international climate talks “appears to be profiting from slave labor,” according to a prominent Senate Republican who wants John Kerry ousted over reported investments that benefit a Chinese surveillance company.

“Nothing is going right for President Biden or our nation lately ... And now, the president’s top climate adviser is profiting from slave labor,” Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that oversees U.S. diplomatic operations, wrote in a Friday op-ed.

Rubio anchored that assessment in a new report that Kerry’s wife is the beneficiary of a trust that has invested more than $1 million in an investment fund that itself invests in a Chinese technology company that was blacklisted in 2019 for facilitating the Chinese communist regime’s atrocities against Uyghur Muslims. That campaign of repression, which U.S. officials have deemed a genocide, intersects with Kerry’s climate work due to China’s exploitation of Uyghur labor to produce solar panels relevant to any major initiative to reduce carbon emissions.

“On the one hand, we’re saying to them, ‘You have to do more to help deal with the climate.’ And on the other hand, their solar panels are being sanctioned, which makes it harder for them to sell them,” Kerry said following a recent trip to China. “They see that as a contradiction.”

KERRY BETS ON SETTING ASIDE CONFRONTATION WITH CHINA TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

Chinese officials, who defend Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghurs as a counterterrorism measure, have warned Biden’s team that U.S denunciations of human rights abuses will jeopardize cooperation on climate issues. Rubio accused Kerry of impeding the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which he co-authored along with Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“Kerry has been working against my legislation, and has convinced President Joe Biden to stay silent on the bill,” Rubio wrote in a piece published by Fox News. “President Biden now has a choice: stand by the man profiting from slave labor or fire him.”

The alleged link between Kerry and the Uyghur repression is indirect, reportedly running through Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P. to Yitu Technology, which develops facial recognition software.

“Kerry's Hillhouse stake is through a trust in which his wife is the beneficiary. While Kerry's wife is a beneficiary of the trust, he stated in the disclosure that they are not involved in managing the investments,” according to the Washington Free Beacon’s report.

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Kerry agreed to sell stocks that State Department ethics officials regarded as “a significant risk of a conflict of interest” in a review conducted after Biden tapped him as the lead climate diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s team said earlier this year.

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Tags: News, Foreign Policy, National Security, John Kerry, China, Marco Rubio, State Department

Original Author: Joel Gehrke

Original Location: Marco Rubio accuses John Kerry of 'profiting from slave labor'