Audit of Australia’s sovereign wealth fund shows money invested in companies linked to Chinese Communist Party, Uyghur oppression

Taxpayer dollars are being invested in at least 50 high risk Chinese companies linked to the Communist Party and oppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang through Australia’s sovereign wealth fund.

A new audit of the Australian Government Future Fund, which is used to strengthen the government’s long term financial position, identified investments in 22 companies directly or indirectly associated with the Chinese Communist Party.

The audit, commissioned by the Shadow Home Affairs and Cyber Security Minister James Paterson, also identified investments in 14 companies associated with the oppression of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang province.

One of those was Shandong Nanshan Aluminium Co. Ltd, a major buyer from a Xinjiang industrial giant reportedly involved in the Chinese governments so-called labour transfer programs in the province.

A further 14 companies with investments in countries Australia has sanctioned, including Russia, were linked to Future Fund.

Senator Paterson said the companies spanned broad portfolios.

“The striking thing is it’s across so many different industries from beverages to energy to finance, to healthcare, IT, manufacturing and materials,” he said.

“Most of the companies are not household names that Australians would have heard of but they are hugely significant in China.

“These are companies that are either controlled by, or linked to the People’s Liberation Army, companies that are involved in the oppression of Uyghur minorities in the Xinjiang province, companies that have been banned or sanctioned by our allies and partners or companies who have benefited from the industrial scale intellectual property theft of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Concerns raised by allies

Australian allies have previously blocked some of the identified companies, including in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Zangge Mining Co. Ltd, one of the companies the Future Fund invests in, was ordered to divest their holdings in Canadian critical minerals due to national security concerns.