The New York Times reported last week that Bain Capital – the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney – stands to profit handsomely from China’s plan to spend billions on surveillance systems that may be used to intimidate and repress its citizens. But there was not a single question about that during a nearly 17-minute interview on Fox News Sunday.
The Times wrote:
In December, a Bain-run fund in which a Romney family blind trust has holdings, purchased the video surveillance division of a Chinese company that claims to be the largest supplier to the government’s Safe Cities program, a highly advanced monitoring system that allows the authorities to watch over university campuses, hospitals, mosques and movie theaters from centralized command posts.
… Such surveillance systems are often used to combat crime and the manufacturer has no control over whether they are used for other purposes. But human rights advocates say in China, they are also used to intimidate and monitor political and religious dissidents. “There are video cameras all over our monastery, and their only purpose is to make us feel fear,” said Loksag, a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Gansu Province. He said the cameras helped the authorities identify and detain nearly 200 monks who participated in a protest at his monastery in 2008.
The Times notes that Romney is long gone from Bain’s operations and “had no say over the investment in China.” But the paper also notes that the investment coincides with Romney’s calls for a hard line against China’s repression of political and religious freedom.
In public comments and in a statement posted on his campaign Web site, Mr. Romney has accused the Obama administration of placing economic concerns above human rights in managing relations with China. He has called on the White House to offer more vigorous support of those who criticize the Chinese Communist Party.
While guest host Bret Baier never broached that potentially embarrassing subject, he did find time to ask Romney about his favorite NCAA team.
I’m having a bit of trouble with the use of “coincide” in that sentence (not sure if Ellen is quoting the Times or using it in a paraphrasing of the Times’ article—either way, it throws me). A better term would be “conflict” or even “runs counter to.” Now, if the investment were revealed AFTER China suddenly began a massive wave of repression, then “coincide” would be workable verb.