Biden ignores China's infiltration of US universities

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As Washington grapples with security threats associated with China’s military modernization and brinkmanship in the Indo-Pacific, it has taken its eyes off subtler threats closer to home. One such threat is Beijing’s infiltration of American educational institutions.

The best-known example of this decades-long campaign are the notorious Confucius Institutes, but these instruments of Chinese “soft power” are just one manifestation of an even bigger problem. According to Bloomberg, 115 universities in the U.S., including Harvard and Stanford, received almost $1 billion in combined gifts and grants from Chinese sources between 2013 and 2020. These were just the donations that were publicly reported.

This is troubling, given a 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Education that found foreign donors often influence institutions’ teaching and research. Any American familiar with the Chinese communist regime’s vehement opposition to U.S. values shudders at the thought of CCP-linked donors influencing the teaching and research at American universities.

Yet no law prevents this form of soft infiltration. Under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act, institutions of higher learning are supposed to report all foreign donations of $250,000 or more. However, universities have historically under-reported these donations.

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