Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the biggest hedge funds in the world, not only said he will continue to do investing in communist China despite its human rights abuses — but also compared the authoritarian regime to the United States.
“Clearly there’s human rights issues. There’s questions right now about this Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. There have been questions about Jack Ma. How do you think about that piece of it when it relates to investing there?” asked CNBC’s “Squawk Box” co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin on Tuesday.
Dalio seemed unbothered by communist China’s authoritarian track record. “I can’t be an expert in those types of things,” Dalio said. “The guidance of the, you know, the government is the most important thing.”
Dalio then turned the question on its head and suggested that if he shouldn’t invest in China due to its human rights abuses, maybe he shouldn’t invest in the U.S. either.
“I look at the United States and I say, well, what’s going on in the United States? And should I not invest in the United States because other things and our own human rights issues or other things, you know? And I’m not trying to make political comparisons. I’m basically just trying to follow the rules, understand what’s going on, and invest properly,” Dalio said.
"What they have is an autocratic system and one of the leaders described it that the U.S. is a country of individuals and individualism…in China it is an extension of the family," says @RayDalio. "As a top down country what they are doing is–they behave like a strict parent." pic.twitter.com/MNZKMdtPy2
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) November 30, 2021
Sorkin acknowledged that there are things in the United States that he doesn’t agree with but pressed Dalio to justify how communist China’s actions compare to the American government.
“Look, there are things that happen in the United States that I don’t agree with that I bet you don’t agree with, but I think that those things are different than some of the things we see happening in China. The government is disappearing people, for example,” Sorkin said.
Dalio, seemingly annoyed, responded with a defense of the communist regime’s practices based on a description given to him by a communist official.
“Look, you want to get into the policy of disappearing people? I’ll give a little bit of a perspective of that, OK? What they have is an autocratic system, and one of the leaders described it, he said that ‘the United States is a country of individuals and individualism. And that’s what it’s about.’ He said in China, it’s an extension of the family. He said if you look at the word ‘country’ in China, it consists of two characters: ‘state,’ ‘family.’”
Dalio claimed this background makes China a “top-down” country and compared the methods of the communist regime to that of a “strict parent.”
“That is their approach. We have our approach. So the notion of whatever they’re doing in terms of calling in people and then behaving in a certain way, that’s their approach,” Dalia said. “If I evaluated all approaches around the world, in all countries, I’d be in a bind to try to find out, you know, where do I invest and so on. It’s just not my domain, and I’ll leave it to the government to make those decisions.”