Leftist megadonor George Soros, who praised China’s communist regime in 2010 as functioning better than the U.S. government, does a 180 in a new Wall Street Journal article titled “Xi’s Dictatorship Threatens the Chinese State.”
In an attempt to appeal to the WSJ’s audience, he even showers some rare praise on the U.S. He writes of the U.S./China conflict “At the heart of this conflict is the reality that the two nations represent systems of governance that are diametrically opposed. The U.S. stands for a democratic, open society in which the role of the government is to protect the freedom of the individual. Mr. Xi believes Mao Zedong invented a superior form of organization, which he is carrying on: a totalitarian closed society in which the individual is subordinated to the one-party state.”
As for Soros supposedly turning sour on China, he blames that on Xi Jinping’s rule. China’s communist regime is more authoritarian under Xi, but it’s hardly *that* different from his predecessor. Despite that, Soros says; “I consider Mr. Xi the most dangerous enemy of open societies in the world.”
His praise of America is performative, of course, and contradicts decades of past public statements. Soros wrote in his 2003 book The Bubble of American Supremacy: “Who would have thought sixty years ago… that the United States itself could pose a threat to open society? Yet that is exactly what is happening, both internally and externally.” Soros’ criticisms of America go back to our Declaration of Independence. In the same book Soros argues that the principles contained within the Declaration of Independence “are not self-evident truths but arrangements necessitated by our inherently imperfect understanding.”
Similarly, despite Soros criticizing China under Xi (March 2013 to present), he’d been more than happy to invest in the country during that time period, which certainly isn’t consistent with his rhetoric above. In November 2016 he purchased 633,024 shares (or roughly $24 million worth) in the iShares Large Cap China ETF, a fund that invests in large Chinese companies. He no longer holds this investment.
Another former Soros investment was Alibaba, of which he formally was one of the three biggest shareholders. When criticizing China’s crackdown on business, he leads with the treatment of Alibaba. “That process has been unfolding in the past year and reached a crescendo in recent weeks. It started with the sudden cancellation of a new issue by Alibaba’s Ant Group in November 2020 and the temporary disappearance of its former executive chairman, Jack Ma,” he writes, without mentioning his past investment in the company.
Soros continues, “Then came the disciplinary measures taken against Didi Chuxing after it floated an issue in New York in June 2021.” Soros invested in Didi back in 2017 when it was still a private company, and Soros Fund Management holds $38.4 million in shares (as of writing) with it as a public company. China cracked down on Didi immediately after their U.S. IPO, sending their shares cratering from a high of $18.01 in July to a low of $7.16 this month, a peak-to-trough decline of 60% in only weeks. Obviously Soros has financial incentive for his criticism here.
Soros has tangled with the Chinese government before, with their state press warning him, a “financial predator,” against “declaring war on” (betting against) the Yuan.
Amusingly, in the WSJ article Soros falsely claims; “I am no longer engaged in the financial markets.” It’s unclear how such an obviously false statement made it past an editor.
As is always the case with Soros, his words betray his true motives, and his sudden opposition to China’s communist regime is no different. Financial incentives aside, perhaps Soros simply doesn’t want to be associated with the violent regime he previously publicly praised.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate