Local money in dark firms
Australia’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in Chinese Communist Party-linked companies and Uyghur oppression.
An audit of the Future Fund has unveiled investments in approximately 50 Chinese companies associated with the Chinese Communist Party and the oppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
The audit, commissioned by Shadow Home Affairs and Cyber Security Minister James Paterson, exposed investments in 22 companies directly or indirectly linked to the Communist Party and 14 companies connected to the Uyghur oppression.
Among these investments, Shandong Nanshan Aluminium Co. Ltd, a significant buyer from a Xinjiang industrial giant involved in China's labour transfer programs, was identified.
Additionally, 14 companies invested in by the Future Fund had ties to countries subjected to Australian sanctions, including Russia.
The audited companies operate in various sectors, ranging from beverages to energy, finance, healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and materials.
Many of these companies are either controlled by or linked to the People's Liberation Army and have been implicated in the oppression of Uyghurs or have faced bans or sanctions from Australia's allies.
Concerns about these investments have been raised by international allies, who have blocked some of the companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
The audit findings suggest a strong need for further action and guidance to mitigate these risks.
It also highlights the possibility of outbound investment restrictions, a measure being considered by the Albanese government in response to decisions made by the Biden administration.
This revelation is not the first time the Future Fund's investment choices have stirred controversy.
In the past, it faced criticism for investments linked to Myanmar's military and for backing Adani, the company responsible for a contentious coal mine project in Queensland.
More details are accessible here.