PA Government could divest completely from Chinese state-owned businesses

16 November 2023- As the state of California and City of San Francisco this week welcomed communist Chinese President Xi Jinping, here in Pennsylvania, state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) is sending a different message by introducing a bill to divest all commonwealth holdings in companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“President Xi Jinping has committed crimes against humanity and Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars should not be used to prop up companies that support his repressive regime,” Mastriano said. “Pennsylvania taxpayers through this bill can tell President Xi Jinping to take his communist rhetoric and record of human rights violations with him back to China.”

Jinping arrived Tuesday in San Francisco to take part in a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Leaders from the 21-member APEC group are meeting to promote investment, trade and economic development in nations around the Pacific Ocean.

Mastriano’s bill would require the state treasurer and the commonwealth’s two largest public pension systems – the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) – to gradually divest from holdings in companies controlled by the CCP. 

Jinping and his government are accused of committing wide-ranging atrocities and human rights violations. The regime’s widespread and systematic persecution of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities on religious, cultural and ethnic grounds, combined with other violations based on gender, constitute crimes against humanity. The United Nations in August released a report assessing human rights concerns in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The CCP also has employed force and aggression to methodically erode self-rule in Hong Kong, weaken democracy in Taiwan and abuse basic human rights in Tibet.

Much of the fentanyl that has killed Pennsylvanians in the ongoing opioid epidemic was manufactured in China.

“Chinese government policies are directly leading to the death of Pennsylvania residents,” Mastriano said. “This is a moral issue and it’s time for us as a commonwealth to take a stand.”

Mastriano currently is circulating the bill concept with his Senate colleagues and seeking co-sponsors.