Ray Dalio's investments in China are a ''moral lapse,'' says Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
Dalio, the billionaire founder of the investment management firm Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, recently raised the equivalent of $1.25 billion for the firm's third investment in China, prompting questions about the ethics of investing in a country with a long list of alleged human rights abuses.
Asked while appearing Tuesday on CNBC's ''Squawk Box'' how he factors in those issues when investing in China, Dalio replied that he ''can't be an expert in those types of things.''
He said that he invests worldwide and pays attention to whether the ''government has a certain policy that I should do a certain thing'' when investing but that he ''can't be an expert on all of those particular dynamics.''
"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," he added. "As a top-down country, what they are doing is — they behave like a strict parent."
Romney said Dalio is ''brilliant and a friend, but his feigned ignorance of China's horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse."
''Tragically, it is shared by far too many here and throughout the free world,'' he added.
Romney's comments follow the short disappearance of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. She vanished from public view on Nov. 2 after accusing former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. She reappeared a few weeks later, but her disappearance sparked a public outcry worldwide.
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