Romney calls billionaire Ray Dalio's China investments a 'sad moral lapse'

China has faced mounting pressure in recent weeks over its human rights record

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, slammed billionaire Ray Dalio on Thursday, asserting the Bridgewater Associates founder’s investments in China constituted a "sad moral lapse" given Beijing’s human rights record.

"Ray Dalio is brilliant and a friend, but his feigned ignorance of China’s horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse. Tragically, it is shared by far too many here and throughout the free world," Romney wrote on Twitter.

Bridgewater Associates raised the equivalent of approximately $1.25 billion for its third China-based investment fund last month, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Ray Dalio, billionaire and founder of Bridgewater Associates LP, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dalio has faced criticism for his remarks in a recent interview with CNBC. When pressed for his stance on investing in China given the recent disappearance of professional tennis player Peng Shuai and other human rights concerns, Dalio was evasive.

"I can’t be an expert in those types of things. What I basically do, for 50 years, I invest all over the world," Dalio said. "I look to whatever the rules are. If the government has a policy that I should do a certain thing and so on, but I can’t be an expert in all of those particular dynamics."

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, arrives before President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"As a top-down country, what they're doing, it's kind of like a strict parent," Dalio added. "They behave like a strict parent, and they go through that. That is their approach. We have our approach."


FILE - Peng Shuai of China celebrates after winning the women's singles match against Venus Williams of the United States in the China Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Stadium in Beijing, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

China has faced mounting pressure in recent weeks over its human rights record. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in response to alleged abuses, while the Women's Tennis Association recently suspended planned tournaments in China over concerns about Peng’s treatment.