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GOP Congressmen Order Universities To Reveal Funds from ‘Adversarial States,’ Targetting China

Aug. 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—Republican congressmen from the Judiciary, Oversight, and Education Committees are doing their best imitation of Joe McCarthy’s House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) which hunted down communists in the 1950s in defense of “national security.” Now, Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), James Comer (KY) and Virginia Foxx (NC) have given an ultimatum to Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and New York University, among others, demanding that they hand over by Aug. 10 all documentation on their foreign funding. The three claim they want to understand “the effects of adversarial foreign direct investment in the U.S. higher education system.”

The “adversarial states” of interest are China, Russia, Qatar, Iran and Saudi Arabia, but China is clearly the primary target. The U.S. Department of Education, under Betsy DeVos, is a driving force here, having reportedly uncovered “over $6.5 billion of previously unreported foreign donations” to U.S. universities. The Washington Examiner points to a May 20 Education Department briefing which warned that two unnamed universities that have contracts with the Jilin University of China, allegedly tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), had publicly defended the CPC and characterized as false reports that the coronavirus was due to “negligence” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Education Department, which is individually investigating several universities for possible “illicit foreign ties”—Georgetown University, Texas A&M, Cornell, Rutgers, MIT, and the University of Maryland, among many others—claims it has uncovered “numerous” university contracts with Chinese government-subsidized companies and “at least one” with “direct contracts with the Chinese Communist Party itself.”

As has been reported, the Justice Department is prosecuting Chinese academics who were working as researchers at U.S. universities, charging them with concealing their ties to China’s military and committing visa fraud. Most recently, Chinese oncologist Tang Juan, who had worked at the University of California, Davis, was arrested by federal authorities and is being held without bail in a Sacramento jail, accused of being a member of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and committing visa fraud. According to Associated Press, Tang’s lawyer says that evidence against her was based on old photographs from when she was a medical student at a school run by the military, and documents that were translated on apps. At yesterday’s press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused the U.S. of “monitoring, harassing and willfully detaining” Chinese students and researchers in the U.S., violating their “legitimate rights and interests ... and seriously disrupting the normal cultural and personnel exchanges between China and the U.S. which amounts to outright political persecution.”

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