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Tags: rep. michael waltz | us colleges and universities

Rep. Waltz: US Colleges 'Plagued by Chinese Espionage'

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(Bill Clark/CQ via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 May 2020 10:06 AM EDT

Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said China’s role in the coronavirus outbreak isn’t the only thing the U.S. should keep its eye on.

He said the Chinese government is infiltrating American society by stealing research from U.S. colleges and universities.

“But while our universities are home to some of the best and brightest scholars, they are also plagued by Chinese espionage and intellectual theft that puts America at risk,” Waltz wrote in a Fox News opinion piece.

Waltz points to two Chinese programs, the Thousand Talents Program and Confucius Institutes, saying they give China’s Communist regime access to the U.S. “academic openness” and freedom to “steal it.”

He said China sends about 400,000 students to U.S. universities, which is more than any other foreign country. 

He said the Thousand Talents Program incentivizes Chinese students engaged in research in the U.S. to send the information they gain here to China – in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space and other benefits.

He said China’s Communist Party uses American professors and Chinese national students to collect information for China to use to boost its own economic and military gain. He said many of the students don’t even know they are doing it.

“But they have no choice but to provide the Chinese government with whatever information that government demands,” he said. 

That’s because universities with Confucius Institutes sign contracts requiring respect for Chinese law, which means they operate under Chinese rule, he said. 

“The Chinese government deliberately fast-tracks information it gets through the Thousand Talents Program to develop military arms, pharmaceuticals, technology, energy and other important advancements,” he said. “Make no mistake: the Chinese government is stealing this information for later use against us.”

Waltz said he is proposing legislation that would prohibit the Defense Department from funding programs with any university housing Confucius Institutes or with faculty participating in the Thousand Talent Program. He also wants people involved in research programs to disclose all financial assistance they receive.

He pointed to a Harvard University Professor, who lied about his participation in the Thousand Talents Program. The state-sponsored Wuhan University of Technology reportedly paid him $50,000 per month and gave him $1.5 million to build a research lab in China. He said there are other instances as well at West Virginia University and the University of Florida where professors were involved in financial research deals with China.

“The ideals of China’s Communist government run completely contrary to the virtues we hold dear. They cannot be allowed to permeate our schools of free thought,” he said. “Our information is clearly precious. Right now, it is in grave danger of falling into the wrong hands. We must do all we can to protect it.”

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Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said China’s role in the coronavirus outbreak isn’t the only thing the U.S. should keep its eye on.
rep. michael waltz, us colleges and universities
Wednesday, 06 May 2020 10:06 AM
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