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  • Writer's pictureStephen Walters

Chinese Takeaway

People ask me why I invest in themes only globally, not nationally. The answer is I can’t render myself well-enough informed to make a decision at a national level.

For instance: While I’d like to recommend ESG investment in China, because I believe the opportunities are immense, I want to declare my apprehension lest the Communist Party be aiming for power-over other nations rather than power-with them.

I’m happy to read China leads the world in clean energy production; produces more than 70 per cent of all solar photovoltaic panels, half of the world’s electric vehicles, and a third of its wind power. I’m unhappy to learn that until more of the world’s ‘rare earth’ metals - essential for clean energy - are discovered, China has 90% of the world’s supply.

I’m happy to read China is the world’s largest investor overseas, providing valuable support to poorer nations almost free-of-charge. I’m unhappy at the idea of the Communist Party later calling in heavy-duty favours.

Accepting three things: I haven’t the expertise to make a well-informed judgment, I have immeasurably benefitted from something I now consider abhorrent - the British Empire, and I am powerless to change the course of world politics; I find myself in a quandary about China.

The best I can yet do is trust in the only company that does have the expertise to create an investable ESG index. For clients’ security I have invested in it for experiment, and found it profitable. I’m sure it will go on being profitable. I’m not suggesting you should have the same ethics and principles as me - or even that mine are exemplary. I’m only saying that for my own peace-of-mind, I’ve decided to reject the China ESG fund from the Dexterity portfolio. I believe I can do better for myself and for clients by sticking to what I know best - modern global themes.

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