China Experts Allegedly Withdrew From Congressional Hearing Over Fear of CCP Backlash

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Multiple imaginable witnesses pulled retired of a legislature committee proceeding connected U.S.-China economical relations owed to fears that they could person backlash stemming from the Chinese Communist Party, according to Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), seat of the House Subcommittee connected Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets.

Sherman disclosed this astatine the outset of the Oct. 26 hearing, which aimed to analyse risks to U.S. investors posed by Chinese companies and different overseas issuers.

“We person large witnesses present today, but the astir articulate witnesses are those who are not present today,” helium said. “Their determination to propulsion retired of this proceeding owed to pressure—economic pressure—speaks loudly to China’s beardown economical powerfulness implicit authorities and economics present successful the United States.”

Ranking subordinate Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) expressed daze astatine Sherman’s assertion, asking for much details. Sherman declined to place the imaginable witnesses, but indicated they travel from the concern sector.

“I’m not present to extremity immoderate careers connected Wall Street by explicitly identifying names,” Sherman responded. “There are those who we were successful discussions with, immoderate who really agreed to travel testify. But they notified america they decided that it was successful the involvement of their careers that they not look earlier us.”

The witnesses that did look were Karen Sutter, a specializer successful Asian Trade and Finance astatine the Congressional Research Service; Samantha Ross, the laminitis of AssuranceMark, The Investors’ Consortium For Assurance; Eric Lorber, a manager astatine the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; and RWR Advisory Group elder expert Claire Chu.

The proceeding touched connected a wide array of China topics—including IP theft, espionage, and the CCP’s attraction of the Uyghur Muslims—but was focused connected U.S. investors buying banal successful Chinese companies. The proceeding follows the disastrous archetypal nationalist offering by Chinese thrust hailing institution Didi Global Inc. successful June, erstwhile it raised $4.4 billion successful U.S. markets lone to person China’s authorities motorboat an probe into the steadfast days later—causing Didi banal to tank.

According to the witnesses, China’s opaque firm structures and ineligible strategy marque investing successful Chinese companies a risky business.

China’s restrictions connected overseas ownership of its companies was seen arsenic a large crushed for overmuch of this risk.

Because they can’t judge investments that would effect successful overseas ownership, Chinese companies effect to raising superior done offshore firm structures, witnesses said. For instance, a U.S.-traded entity mightiness ain a Cayman Islands ammunition institution that has a contractual narration with the Chinese firm.

“These structures arguably marque it hard for U.S. investors to measure imaginable risks,” Sutter said. “These analyzable firm structures besides abstracted the underlying institution and its operations and assets from U.S. investors. This perchance limits the quality of U.S. investors to workout their rights, including the close to question afloat ineligible recourse if necessary.”

Ross said a peculiarly acute occupation is Chinese firms not making due audit disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ross was referring to the information that China’s authorities has allegedly blocked its auditing firms from having their enactment inspected by U.S. regulators.

“China-based companies’ free-riding connected U.S. markets, without complying with U.S. audit regulations, increases fraud risks for investors successful those companies,” she said.

Congress aimed to code this contented successful December 2020 erstwhile it passed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which requires overseas companies to beryllium delisted from U.S. markets if they neglect to conscionable audit disclosure requirements for 3 consecutive years.

The authorities whitethorn besides uncover what Chinese firms person nonstop ties to the CCP. Once the SEC has finalized its rulemaking connected the law, Chinese firms “will beryllium required to disclose the percent of shares owned by authorities entities successful which the institution is incorporated and whether these authorities entities person a controlling fiscal involvement successful the firm,” according to a subcommittee memo connected the legislation.

“Firms volition besides person to disclose accusation related to immoderate committee members who are officials of the Chinese Communist Party and whether the articles of incorporation of the issuer incorporate immoderate charter of the Chinese Communist Party,” the memo says.

The Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act—introduced astatine the Oct. 26 subcommittee hearing—would trim the archetypal legislation’s timeline for delisting to 2 years.

Ken Silva

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Ken Silva covers nationalist information issues for The Epoch Times. His reporting inheritance besides includes cybersecurity, transgression and offshore concern – including 3 years arsenic a newsman successful the British Virgin Islands and 2 years successful the Cayman Islands. Contact him astatine [email protected]