President Biden quietly revoked a Trump-era policy that compelled primary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions to disclose their relationships with Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes and Republicans are fuming.
The policy – “Establishing Requirement for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Certified Schools to Disclose Agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms” – was proposed on December 31st, 2020.
“The rule would require colleges and K-12 schools that are certified to have foreign exchange programs to disclose any contracts, partnerships, or financial transactions from Confucius Institutes or Classrooms (the Confucius Institute offshoot for primary and secondary schools),” Axios noted.
And the Trump administration’s proposals were well-warranted: the well-funded, controversial operations disguise themselves as language and culture initiative despite being replete with “undisclosed ties to Chinese institutions, and conflicted loyalties,” Chinese state propaganda, and intellectual property theft, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
A report from the Senate’s Permanent Select Committee on Investigations stated that nearly 70% of schools receiving more than $250,000 from organizations related to the Chinese government did not report the funding as legally required.
Data from the Department of Education reveals that several top-tier universities did not report more than $3 billion in foreign gifts and funds, much of which came from China. Clarion Project reported that universities reported a total of $11 billion in foreign donations between 2014 and 2019, but the real number is over $14 billion.
“This lack of reporting makes it impossible for the U.S. government to discern the level of potential influence of China on the U.S. educational system,” according to a senior DHS official.
Records from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, however, reveal that Biden nixed the policy on January 26 – less than a week into his White House tenure.
“A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that the policy was rescinded,” Campus Reform noted.
As one might imagine, GOP lawmakers are extremely concerned about Biden’s withdrawing Trump’s policy.
“Confucius Institutes are front groups for the Chinese Communist Party on American campuses,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR., said in a tweet. “The federal government ought to shut down these regime-run institutes or, at a minimum, require colleges to disclose their secret agreements with them. Instead, the Biden administration is allowing a foreign influence operation to continue in the shadows.”
Confucius Institutes are front groups for the Chinese Communist Party on American campuses.
The Biden administration is allowing a foreign influence operation to continue in the shadows. https://t.co/DC5Y8HczQY
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 10, 2021
“The Biden Administration’s decision to withdraw this rule is deeply disappointing and surprising considering the serious nature of China’s efforts to expand its influence operations inside the United States,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH, said in a statement. “I urge them to reconsider.”
Portman said, “Since 2006, the Chinese government has provided more than $158 million to more than 100 U.S. schools for Confucius Institutes,” referencing the 2019 Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Report.
In a tweet, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, commented that Biden’s administration was snubbing FBI guidance.
“[The] FBI has warned about China’s Communist Party using Confucius Institute[s] to infiltrate American schools,” Rubio tweeted. “But now Biden quietly withdrawn [sic] rule proposed by [the] Trump admin to require schools [and] universities to disclose their partnerships with these agents of Chinese [government] influence.”
But now Biden quietly withdrawn rule proposed by Trump admin to require schools & universities to disclose their partnerships with these agents of Chinese govt influence
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 9, 2021
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, introduced a budget amendment in the House Education and Labor Committee that would have blocked schools with Confucius Institutes from getting federal funds which was blocked by Democrats.
“We must prevent American taxpayer dollars from going to institutions that have partnerships with any entity owned, controlled, or organized under the laws of the Chinese Communist Party, which we know is censoring free speech, engaging in genocide in Xinjiang Province, and influencing American academia before our eyes,” Stefanik said.
Democrats blocked my proposal to stop taxpayer $$ going to institutions with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, which we know is censoring free speech, engaging in genocide, & influencing American academia!
Democrats put China First and America LAST! ⬇️ https://t.co/NVkUyM9q7t
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) February 10, 2021
The influence China is very scary and Biden seems to be playing right in to their hands.
Reuters contributed to this report.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org