Several universities in the U.S. are refusing to cooperate with federal investigations into alleged infiltration by the Chinese government through bribes and financial kickbacks, according to reports.
College Fix reports that multiple institutions being scrutinised by the Department of Education are refusing to provide internal documents that are thought to contain evidence of undisclosed financial grants from the Chinese government.
The legal representatives of the universities are arguing that they do not have to provide information because of “Freedom of Information Act exemptions and legal privileges,” according to correspondence from the Department of Education, which did not name the institutions that have refused to comply.
Department of Education General Counsel Reed Rubinstein noted that “the evidence suggests massive investments of foreign money have bred dependency and distorted the decision making, mission, and values of too many institutions.”
Rubinstein admitted that the government will not be able to fully release information it does receive from the universities.
“Inappropriate disclosure of confidential information could lead to separation of powers concerns and will certainly impair the factfinding and enforcement work Congress has authorized us to do,” Rubinstein stated.
As we have recently highlighted, many universities throughout America are still allowing what have been described as Chinese propaganda centers to operate on their campuses, despite warnings from intelligence officials that the communist state is using them to infiltrate US society and indoctrinate Americans.
US intelligence agencies have previously labeled the Confucius Institutes as a national security threat, and several universities have since trashed the programs.
In congressional testimony in 2018, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that “The level of naïveté on the part of the academic sector about this creates its own issues. They’re exploiting the very open research and development environment that we have, which we all revere. But they’re taking advantage of it.”
In January, the Department of Justice also arrested a professor at Harvard, as well as two Chinese nationals for reportedly acting as foreign agents.
An engineering professor at the University of Arkansas was also arrested by the FBI and faces up to 20 years in prison for allegedly hiding funding that he received from the communist Chinese government.
Congressional Republicans have also expressed concerns that China is attempting to hinder US coronavirus research through such infiltration of US universities.
Last week, the FBI issued a PSA warning of the Chinese government’s intention to steal American medical research in its quest to find a cure for COVID-19.
Speaking to Campus Reform, Gordon Chang, an expert on United States-China relations, and author of The Coming China Collapse, noted that “estimates put the annual theft of American intellectual property at somewhere between $150-600 billion a year.”
“Some of that actually takes place on American college campuses. China has bought a number of college professors, a number of them have been fingered by the FBI and they’re pending investigations, and Chinese students have been engaged in activities…for instance, downloading entire databases for China.” Chang added.
Referring to the Confuscious Institutes, Chang said that they “report in reality to the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department. That means these are attempts to subvert other countries.“
“The U.S. is not permitted to have institutes like this in China. You don’t have a Lincoln Center or Roosevelt Institute… we know that propaganda is absolutely critical to totalitarian regimes.” Chang urged.
“They want to put forth narratives and restrict what is said about China on American campuses.” Chang asserted, adding that “You’ve got to remember that the Chinese regime is deeply racist with its Han nationalist ideology. This is something we haven’t quite seen since The Third Reich.”
Last year President Donald Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which proposed an ultimatum to universities receiving financial assistance from the Pentagon: close the Chinese propaganda center on campus or lose funding. Since that time, at least 49 schools have closed their Confucius Institute, according to Human Rights Watch.
The problem extends beyond the US, with European officials also expressing concerns that China is using the programs to infiltrate and spy on other countries. Some nations have outright banned the Chinese from setting up the institutes at their universities.
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