Bridgewater Associates LP’s billionaire founder Ray Dalio took to social media on Sunday to “clarify” comments he made last week in which he appeared to shun human rights abuses in China.
Dalio said he “loosely answered” a question during a CNBC interview that “created misunderstanding” about his views.
“Let me assure you that I didn’t mean to say that human rights aren’t important because I certainly believe they are and I didn’t mean to imply that the US and China deal with these issues equally because they Definitely don’t do that,” Dalio said in a series of tweets on Sunday, and in a linkedin post,
Dalio said he was trying to explain “how Confucianism is based on the family and it pervades their rule, which is a more autocratic approach, like a strict parenting. I was not expressing my opinion.” Or was not supporting that view.
“Understanding and agreeing are two different things, and that is what was lost in the interview. I am sorry that my answer lacked that nuance and caused confusion,” he wrote.
Bridgewater – the world’s largest hedge fund – has significant investments in China, and has raised about $1.25 billion to fund its latest investment in China in the third quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.
The controversy began last Tuesday, when Dalio was interviewed on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and told host Andrew Ross Sorkin on concerns about investments in China: “I see what the rules are. have a policy that I must do a certain job and so on, but I cannot specialize in all those particular dynamics. … What are they doing as a top-down country … They are a strict mother- Behave like a father.”
He continued: “I look at the United States, and I say, OK, what’s happening in the United States? And shouldn’t I invest in the United States because of its human rights issues, or other things? “
Comments condemned by the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, which said his comments “show why so many Americans dislike Wall Street,” and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, among others.
“Ray Dalio is brilliant and friendly, but his ignorance of China’s horrific abuses and a tragic moral lapse in the rationalization of collusive investments,” Romney tweeted on Thursday,