President Biden’s latest climate appointee studied at a Chinese Communist Party-controlled university that conducts research for the People’s Liberation Army.
Biden this week tapped Dr. Yue (Nina) Chen to serve as the climate risk manager for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where she will develop “climate risk management frameworks for the federal banking system.” Chen received his degree in chemical engineering from Tsinghua University, which a think tank valued a “very high risk” due to his involvement in a “high level of defense research and suspected involvement in cyberattacks” on behalf of the Chinese military. Tsinghua conducts research in “artificial intelligence, air-to-air missiles, navigation technology, instrument science and materials science”, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
Chen, who previously served as a climate regulator at the New York State Department of Financial Services, is a proponent of “environmental, social and governance” guidelines, a socially progressive approach to investing known as ‘ESG. Under ESG, investment managers and insurance companies assess the risk of companies based on their commitment to progressive goals in the areas of diversity and climate change. Chen spoke at a panel last year on the theme of pressure on industries to “finally leave fossil fuels behind” and redirect their investments “towards solving the climate crisis”.
Chen is not the first Biden nominee for banking regulator to have studied at a Communist-run university. Saule Omarova, whom Biden appointed last year to oversee the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, earned a “Lenin Fellowship” at Moscow State University in the late 1980s. The White House withdrew the Omarova’s nomination after Democratic senators said they would oppose her confirmation because of her support for ending the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Omarova said she wanted to “starve” companies of money to invest in the fossil fuel industry.
Will Hild, the executive director of Consumers’ Research, expressed concern about Chen, citing his upbringing in the “CCP’s training grounds.” He said his nomination was part of Biden’s effort to establish controversial “environmental, social and governance” policies in federal agencies.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.