Politics

7 Top House Committee Republicans Announce Probe Into China’s Infiltration Of U.S. Colleges

By

Press Release from republicans-oversight.house.gov

PUBLISHED: MAY 4, 2020

Today, the top Republicans from seven different House committees — led by Oversight Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) — sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asking for information about the Chinese Communist Party’s investment in American colleges and universities to further its strategic and propaganda goals.

What the letter says:

“China has strategically invested in U.S. academia to attempt to steal confidential information and technology from U.S. companies, and even the U.S. government. Besides China peddling money for influence in U.S. institutions of higher education (IHE), China is restricting any research regarding the origins of COVID-19 that does not comport with CCP propaganda. To nations battling peak pandemic outbreaks, the CCP’s machinations undoubtably hamper the global response to the pandemic.”

“For some time, we have been concerned about the potential for the Chinese government to use its strategic investments to turn American college campuses into indoctrination platforms for American students. For example, a 2018 Hoover Institution report notes the presence of some 110 ‘Confucius Institutes’ on college campuses as well as over 500 “Confucius Classrooms” in secondary schools. While the stated mission of such institutes and classrooms is to teach Chinese language and culture, the report notes, ‘faculty and other watchdogs have warned that they may present risks to intellectual freedom by using American universities as vehicles through which to advance Chinese Communist Party propaganda.’”

“These actions all bring into question whether U.S. IHEs receiving federal taxpayer dollars should be allowed to accept funds from China, the CCP, or other affiliated organizations. The interests of the two nations appear to have diverged.”

House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan was joined on the letter by the following top House Committee Republicans:

Virginia Foxx, ranking member of the House Committee on Education and Labor
Mac Thornberry, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee
Mike Rogers, ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security
Frank Lucas, ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

What the signers are saying:

Ranking Member Jim Jordan: “We cannot allow a dangerous communist regime to buy access to our institutions of higher education, plain and simple. The Chinese Communist Party’s coverup of the early outbreak of the coronavirus immeasurably worsened this disease’s impact on the United States and the world. We owe it to the American people to hold China accountable and to prevent them from doing further harm to our country.”

Ranking member Virginia Foxx: “China’s lack of transparency and accountability for the global spread of the novel coronavirus has devastated communities, businesses, and schools across the world, including our institutions of higher education. Unsurprisingly, China is now attempting to suppress academic research into the origins of the pandemic. This is unacceptable. These strategic and disreputable acts from the Chinese Communist Party have proven to be commonplace and it is time for institutions of higher education to acknowledge how much money they accept from foreign actors. We must work together to protect our national interests by significantly reducing our universities’ reliance on investments from adversarial foreign entities.”

Ranking Member Mac Thornberry: “China’s strategic investment in our institutions of higher learning has long been a concern. This is especially true where China appears to be targeting institutions doing research with the Department of Defense in an effort to obtain sensitive information.”

Ranking Member Mike Rogers: “I’m grateful for the leadership of Ranking Member Jordan on this issue,” Rogers said. “It’s imperative we get a complete understanding of the depth of foreign influence in our higher education institutions. China has shown they will stop at nothing to push their narratives and silence those who speak out against them. They are not good faith partners with the U.S., and we cannot allow them to influence or have access to our higher education.”

Ranking Member Frank Lucas: “If China surpasses us in critical innovations like quantum information science, artificial intelligence, and advanced manufacturing it will have significant implications for our national security, for our economic competitiveness, and for our way of life. We’re working with universities and federal agencies to protect our academic research enterprise so we can continue to maintain America’s scientific and technological leadership.”

Comments are closed.