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Kristi Noem Goes Scorched Earth on Taxpayer Funds That May Be Lining China's Pockets

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Thursday called for an immediate review of the state’s investments to determine if it has stakes in Chinese companies, stepping up her rhetoric against the communist giant.

The Republican governor has taken aim at the state’s ties to China, saying they pose a national security threat.

Last week, Noem banned the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, from being used on state-owned devices.

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On Thursday, her office issued a statement saying she wanted the South Dakota Investment Council, which oversees a $19 billion portfolio for the state’s pension fund and other trust funds, to review its investments for ties to Chinese companies within seven days.

“South Dakotans deserve to know if their taxpayer dollars are being invested to benefit the Chinese Communist Party,” Noem said in a statement.

“The Investment Council has ensured that South Dakota has the best-funded pension in the country,” she said. “But it is not possible to make good deals with bad people.”

China’s government has worked in recent years to exert stronger ties to companies by pushing the development of party cells, which are small committees of Communist Party members, within companies.

Noem said that if any investments in Chinese companies are found, the South Dakota Investment Council should propose a plan to take its money elsewhere.

In the council’s most recent annual report, China did not make it onto a list of the top 10 countries where it has invested.

Last year, the council reviewed its portfolio to determine if it had invested in Russian companies after that country invaded Ukraine. It found there were no direct investments.

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President Joe Biden last year expanded a list of Chinese companies whose shares are off-limits to American investors because of their links to the Chinese military and surveillance. Chinese officials vehemently objected to that move.

Noem is seen as a potential contender for the Republican nomination for the 2024 White House.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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