• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Nury Turkel and Global Tech Security Commission Co-Chair Keith Krach present on the Uyghur Genocide Divestment Movement

ByChad J. Johnson

Oct 4, 2022

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On October 4, 2022, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Nury Turkel joined former Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, chairman of the Krach Institute for Technology Diplomacy at Purdue, to discuss divestment from Chinese companies complicit in human rights abuses and the need to strengthen defenses against Chinese high-tech companies that reinforce the authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party, which threatens freedom. The conversation was organized by the Hudson Institute in partnership with the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue.

“Keith is a prominent voice for those who have been victims of human rights abuses, and his calls for action have been described as groundbreaking by the Uyghur community. On July 4, 2020, during a television broadcast nationwide, Keith was the first government official to openly call the CCP’s atrocities against Uyghurs “genocide,” said Nury Turkel, author of No leak, a powerful memoir that lays bare the Chinese government’s repression of the Uyghur people. “But Keith didn’t stop there. Along with issuing the first corporate advisory, he compared the Xinjiang genocide to the Holocaust and called for divestment from Chinese companies complicit in human rights abuses. His letters to U.S. CEOs, civil society leaders and university boards sparked a divestment movement on college campuses.

Turkel asked Krach about his latest open letter to the University of Inside Higher Education. “The letter was intended to alert university boards that there is a strong chance that their endowment funds will be invested in Chinese companies perpetuating the surveillance state that allow genocide and also reminding them that they have a moral obligation and a fiduciary duty to divest themselves of those stocks buried in index funds,” Krach replied, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Purdue. “The Athens Institutea student-founded nonprofit comprised of Republicans and college Democrats, responded to this call for divestment from malicious Chinese companies by organizing a grassroots movement that is rapidly spreading across college campuses across the country. They have now successfully created a student movement on thirty college campuses that is pushing universities to step up and vote with their wallets.

In an article supporting Krach Nobel Peace Prize 2022 appointment, the young Athenian leaders said, “He shed light on the continued exploitation of academic institutions by the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies and was the first official to call on the boards of trustees of private and public institutions to divest from companies complicit in the genocide. Uyghurs and other human rights atrocities committed by the CCP. In doing so, he helped lay the groundwork for the Uyghur University Genocide Divestment Movement, a movement directly inspired by the success of the student movement for divestment from apartheid-era South Africa. in the 1970s and 1980s.

During the briefing, Turkel went on to tell Krach, “The tech companies you founded and led have made people’s lives better, but as you know, dictators use technology to oppress people. Chinese companies like Huawei, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent are tools of the Chinese government’s surveillance state. One of your greatest accomplishments as the head of American economic diplomacy has been to create the “trust doctrine” and deploy it to build the Own network Alliance of Democracies, which thwarted the CCP’s plan to export its surveillance operation beyond Xinjiang to the rest of the world.

Krach noted that technology can be used for good or evil and Purdue’s Institute for Tech Diplomacy was founded on the belief that technology should advance freedom. He said that through its surveillance tools, the CCP is “exporting a dictator out of a box” and that American investors are unknowingly funding through their pension funds. “These companies should be included in our capital markets sanctions.” Turkel pointed out, “Not only is it unethical to invest in Chinese technology that poses national security threats. It is unacceptable. Krach replied, “My fellow Silicon Valley CEOs ask me when Chinese companies on the Commerce Department’s export controls list are on the Treasury Department’s OFAC capital markets sanctions list,” Krach said. “They should be. Policy consistency is crucial.

During the discussion, Turkel recalled that Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, Bi-khim Hsiao, had dubbed Krach “Taiwan’s number one friend.After his recent visit to Taiwan, Turkel said “concern about military threats from China is palpable” and asked Krach about the possibility of an imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Krach welcomed Turkel’s message that if China takes control of Taiwan, the fate of Taiwanese will echo that of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. “Coming from you in particular, growing up in a re-education camp, I think that hit home,” Krach said. Assessing the severity of the threat, Krach said, “The free world must stand with Taiwan, a linchpin of democracy and a model of freedom.

On the conflicting role of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) investing in Chinese entities, Turkel pointed to a new case study from Wharton Business School based on Krach’s “campaign for equity capital markets” that uses the solar industry which is deeply entangled in the Uyghur genocide, as a striking example of how ESG investing in Chinese entities is inherently conflictive. Turkel said, “Investors, consumers and voters want a ‘clean’ supply chain for clean energy, but the ESG investing industry has failed to deliver.” He then asked Krach whether Chinese solar companies that profit from slave labor should be included in ESG investing. “If you plan to apply the standard with integrity, they should all be excluded for three reasons: E, S, and G,” Krach replied. He explained: “E stands for environmental standards and they all use unregulated dirty coal in their energy intensive manufacturing process. S stands for “social responsibility” and they all use Uyghur slave labor. G stands for good governance and there is no financial transparency, and it is impossible to check their books.

Turkel observed that Krach had been wanted by both sides of the aisle, which defies conventional wisdom in Washington, pointing out the to architect of the CHIPS and Science Act, strengthen ties with Taiwan, secure the semiconductor supply chain, train diplomats in the art of technology, and strategize for human rights abuses in China. “The Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Affairs chief, Kurt Campbell, said that almost all of the work Keith has done at the State Department, including networks of trustthe blue dot initiative, etc., have been followed in the current administration. This is in many ways the greatest tribute to your exemplary work.

“As the late Senator Vandenberg said, politics stops at the water’s edge and that is certainly the case in the Taiwan Strait,” Krach said. “When it comes to issues such as countering China’s four-dimensional aggression, this is absolutely essential. There is nothing that terrifies General Secretary Xi more than the united United States. And for our allies, policy continuity is paramount.

Finally, Krach and Turkel discussed the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, where Turkel is a senior adviser, and the Global Tech Security Commission, created by the Krach Institute and the Atlantic Council to develop a global technology security strategy. Krach emphasized the institute’s mission to advance freedom through trusted technology as an integral part of Purdue University’s focus on national security and foreshadowed the goal of the Global Tech Security Commission. to provide offensive and defensive strategies to fight against techno-authoritarianism, as well as a plan to build a Global Technology Trust Network for adopting Tech Trust standards to accelerate the use of trusted technology.

The full Krach-Turkel briefing video is available here.


Purdue’s nonpartisan Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy is committed to advancing freedom through trusted technology and democratic principles. The Krach Institute leverages Purdue’s leadership in innovative research, commercialization, STEM education, corporate partnerships and national security to advance the field of technology diplomacy and statecraft in terms of technology. It is the world’s preeminent institution focused on the art of governing technology, a new model of diplomacy that integrates high-tech strategies and foreign policy tools with the aim of rallying allies, leveraging the sector privacy and to amplify democratic values ​​based on trust.

For more information, visit www.techdiplomacy.org and follow the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue on Twitter, LinkedInand Youtube.