Chinese-born Yu Meng, Who Invested California Public Employees’ Retirement Funds in Blacklisted Chinese Military Suppliers, Suddenly Resigns

It was a matter of time.  For months now the California Political News and Views along with other publications have called for the firing of Yu Meng as the chief investment officer for CalPERS,  He got the job via the Ten Thousand Talents program, run by the Chinese Communist Party.  One of the first things he did in his new position was to invest over $5 billion in Chinese Communist military suppliers—though the firms were on the U.S. Treasurer’s blacklist.

Could it be the resignation has to do with this: “In March 2020, just weeks before California Gov. Gavin Newsom was “negotiating” a $1 billion mask deal with a Chinese company, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien announced that the Trump administration was “looking at” investments in blacklisted Chinese military companies by the state’s public employees retirement system, known as CalPERS. There were also questions about the relationship between CalPERS’ Chief Investment Officer, Chinese-born U.S. citizen Yu Meng, and the Chinese Communist Party. CalPERS executives vigorously defended Meng, even posting a long defense of their investments in China on their website, but Meng suddenly stepped down Wednesday, effective immediately. In a press release posted after the end of business Wednesday, there was no reason given for Meng’s departure.”

Is it possible the Federal government is about to take legal action against him?  By resigning, even if found guilty and sent to prison, when he gets out he would receive his CalPERS pension.  This is the type of resignation forced on someone by an agency, so when the criminal actions are filed, the agency can say “former employee”.  As if we care.  Importantly we need an immediate audit of his actions, his files and papers need to be secured by a Federal agency and then allow the investigation to go forward.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands by national flags at the Schloss Bellevue presidential residency in Berlin on March 28, 2014. Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a landmark visit to fellow export powerhouse Germany Friday, the third leg of his European tour, expected to cement flourishing trade ties and focus on the Crimea crisis. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese-born Yu Meng, Who Invested California Public Employees’ Retirement Funds in Blacklisted Chinese Military Suppliers, Suddenly Resigns

by Jennifer Van Laar, Red State,  8/5/20  

In March 2020, just weeks before California Gov. Gavin Newsom was “negotiating” a $1 billion mask deal with a Chinese company, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien announced that the Trump administration was “looking at” investments in blacklisted Chinese military companies by the state’s public employees retirement system, known as CalPERS. There were also questions about the relationship between CalPERS’ Chief Investment Officer, Chinese-born U.S. citizen Yu Meng, and the Chinese Communist Party. CalPERS executives vigorously defended Meng, even posting a long defense of their investments in China on their website, but Meng suddenly stepped down Wednesday, effective immediately. In a press release posted after the end of business Wednesday, there was no reason given for Meng’s departure.

Meng, 50, hinted that health issues contributed to his decision (if indeed it was his decision):

“I deeply believe in the CalPERS mission of serving those who serve California,” Meng said. “I’m proud of the work we did to change the portfolio, build a skilled Investment Office, and set CalPERS on a strong path to achieve our return target. But at this time, it’s important for me to focus on my health and on my family and move on to the next chapter in my life.”

What happened?

At the outset of whatever investigations are supposedly ongoing, O’Brien said the administration’s interest was both in the financial stability of the investments and the problematic practice of investing the retirement funds of government employees with a country that’s anything but friendly.

“Some of the CalPERS investment policies are incredibly concerning,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got folks who are going to rely on their pension for their retirement and putting those investments into companies that don’t have GAAP accounting and they don’t have the same reporting requirements that American companies do is scary.”

“It’s something we are taking a look at and it’s concerning and, moreover, OK, why are we sending American capital to a country and supporting a defense industry that is popping out a couple of destroyers and frigates a month and threatening to have total over-mass against us in the Indo-Pacific.”

Similarly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed CalPERS‘ investments in a February speech:

“The largest public pension fund in the country is invested in companies that supply the People’s Liberation Army that puts our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines at risk.”

Just days after Pompeo’s remarks, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) highlighted Meng’s prior job (from 2015 to 2018) as Deputy Chief Investment Officer for China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) in a letter to California Gov. Newsom and called for an investigation into Meng’s activities. Banks wrote:

CalPERS has been funneling retired public servants’ savings to companies that abuse human rights and supply the Chinese military. And it has done so at the behest of its CIO, Yu Ben Meng, a man enlisted in China’s Thousand Talents Program—which has been described by the FBI as one of China’s ‘non-traditional espionage’ programs. This poses a national security risk to every region of the United States. I hope Governor Newsom appreciates the gravity of the situation and speedily launches an investigation into Yu Ben Meng and CalPERS.”

Newsom ignored the letter and denied that Meng was a part of the Thousand Talents Program. But, in a February 25 Los Angeles Times article about Banks’ desire “to investigate Meng’s allegiance and win backing for a crackdown on government workers’ dollars flowing into Chinese companies,” the journalist and Meng both stated conclusively that Meng was affiliated with the TTP.

The explosive allegations center on Meng’s three-year stint, which ended in 2018, of helping oversee China’s $3 trillion in currency reserves. During that time he was deputy chief investment officer of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE.

Meng was hired for his job at the Chinese fund via a government recruitment plan known as the Thousand Talents Program.

Meng, 50, denied Banks’ claims and said his connections with Thousand Talents ended when he left SAFE two years ago.

“SAFE used the Thousand Talents Program to be able to hire U.S. contractors,” he said in a statement. “I was associated with the program through my employment with SAFE. Any connection to the program ended when I left. I am a proud American citizen.”

But, Katy Grimes at California Globe found a puff piece on Meng in People’s Daily, an official publication of the Chinese Communist Party, that reads quite a bit differently. Here’s a highlight:

“He, once a well-known person on Wall Street in the United States, managed the largest public retirement fund in North America. Two years ago, he gave up the comfortable life in the United States and returned to contribute to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. He is Meng Yu, the deputy chief investment officer of the Central Foreign Exchange Business Center of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (pictured above, profile photo).”

Mr. Meng said, “In human life, if there is an opportunity to serve the motherland, such responsibility and honor cannot be compared to anything.”

But can it be compared to a $707,500 base salary?

Participants in the Thousand Talents Program have been repeatedly linked to espionage. In 2018 program participant Yanjun Xu, who was also a member of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, was arrested for attempting to obtain trade secrets from General Electric and other tech companies. He had to be extradited from Belgium. In July 2020 Chinese scientist Song Gou Zheng, who had performed rheumatology and immunology research at the Ohio State University for more than 20 years (under grants from NIH) was arrested as he attempted to flee to China. Zheng had been attempting to lure other researchers back to mainland China to develop a “world-class clinical immunology research and translational medicine team” which will “develop high level international academic exchange and collaboration” at a university there, using all of the knowledge obtained through NIH grants.

If those examples are any indication, officials better check the airports for Meng.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. John Steele says

    He’s a frickin commie Dahhhh . Gavin has been shoveling our cash to prop up our enemy

  2. Robert Fox says

    Gavin is a commie himself. Along with Pelosi. You can add Diblosio to that list and
    Light foot. They are all far left, the same as commies.

  3. The criminals who installed this communist spy into the position in the first place should be investigated, indicted, tried, convicted and shot for treason.

    Just sayin’.

    • The Captive says

      As if any in CA would witness such an act against their WRONG DOINGS, IT WOULD set the state on fire to see justified actions against the CON-ARTISTS such as Gruesome-newsome and his ilk taken to task and PUNISHED -for the rest of their lives.

  4. Of course the money trail leads back to who and what party?

    The Socialist Democrats are now openly exposed using your tax money to help a dictator. Understand the Communist Chinese long ago gave up the pretense of Communism for good old Fascist Dictatorship.

    Make no mistake, the Democrat Party going back to the Clinton Administration has played footsy with they tyrants for money. The Concentration Camps in Western China, the crushing of Tibet, the thumb screws on Hong Kong, and the over 2 decades of isolation of our friends in the Nationalist Government at directly at the feet of Democrats.

    You know the same ones who are supporting the Communist Dictatorship in Venezuela.

    And you vote Democrat why?

  5. Stan Sexton says

    Why not retire? Curtis Ishii got a pension of over $418,600 per year. Meng could score higher. These people are our non-elected overllords who can join the Elite in their Socialist World, while we peasants live under Feudalism.

  6. JP Stoffel says

    The current CalPERS board needs to be fired and replaced with properly vetted professionals in a publicly open forum. What other nefarious retirement shenanigans are occurring throughout California (CalSTIRS?), and have been occurring unchecked and unreported? Sacramento based news and information outlets have buried their collective liberal heads in the sand for decades regarding news-worthy topics and trends aplenty generated by a majority of California Senate and Assembly officials. California government agencies need to be audited and scrubbed clean soon or those residents still remaining, for the time being, will have only two choices left – fight or flight. This guy Meng should have any state remittance or retirement funds held in escrow until federal officials (because state officials cannot be trusted this time) have determined no laws were broken and he did not violate his oath of office. The serious-minded adults left in California government offices who care about all aspects of safety and security of this state need to start publicly spotlighting elected representatives and their legislation that are dragging California down to New York standards. The only advantage California still can crow about is the weather, for now.

  7. Make sure you get out and vote. Don’t allow them to steal the election with the mail-in voter fraud. We need them OUT

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