This week, U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, led his Republican colleagues in a Special Order Hour to highlight the mounting threat of China’s espionage operations and intellectual property theft inside America’s higher education institutions.
Bean said the following on the House floor:
Mr. Speaker, I have a message and that message is our nation’s higher education system is being purchased and manipulated by the Chinese Communist Party. America needs a wakeup call. I thought that wakeup call would come in the form of a Chinese spy balloon. And if it was the Chinese spy balloon sent to wake us up it seems America has hit the snooze button.
A few weeks ago, members of the Education and Workforce Committee were briefed on the schemes and manipulation of the CCP on higher education in the USA and we were all shocked. It was a shocking report, and we want to share the truth of how far China has gone and what they are doing to infiltrate and take control over higher education in the United States. Since 2013 $12 billion has poured into our higher education system from foreign sources. China is by far the largest of foreign donations since that time. Between 2013 and 2020 U.S. universities accepted nearly a billion dollars from Chinese donations. The tuition paid by Chinese students is estimated to be over $12 billion per year. It’s time we look at this influence and take it seriously.
It started over 20 years ago, Mr. Speaker, that China’s been playing this game of infiltration, manipulation and trying to purchase influence. It started with this game called Confucius Institutes. These centers teach Chinese language and culture but avoid discussing China’s widespread human-rights abuses and present Taiwan as an undisputed Chinese territory. They are simply a propaganda machine funded and directed by the Chinese government.
And we haven’t even gotten started on what they are stealing from us. So tonight, members of the Education and Workforce Committee, and other invited members are going to tell the story of just how far China has gone to infiltrate our university systems. You are going to hear how top colleges and universities that have not fully reported donations from foreign sources including that of the Chinese government. You are going to hear the administration not enforcing existing laws requiring full reporting of these foreign sources. Universities in their desire to seek donations from the public sometimes unexpectedly or yet overly take money from foreign sources and in this case many times from the Chinese government. You are going to hear also how the U.S. is losing the technology edge that we have long enjoyed for many years in computing, science and engineering, and all kinds of energy sources where we were the dominant player but now because of theft and China’s influence in our university system those edges in technology are now leaning China’s way. You are going to hear about all of that and more. So, Mr. Speaker, as we begin tonight, I just want to say that its long overdue that Americans hear the truth and are fully aware how bad China is.
Bean has supported investigating whether colleges and universities are complying with reporting foreign gifts and contracts under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act. Additionally, he joined his GOP committee colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Education Secretary Cardona requesting transparency in foreign funding to colleges. It should be clear what funding is accepted and what expectations are attached.
- Ashley Moody Names 2022 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year - May 29, 2023, 9:00 am
- U.S. Department of Education, NASA Strengthen Partnership to Advance STEM and Space Education - May 28, 2023, 9:00 pm
- Florida Preserves Nine Agricultural Operations Through Rural and Family Lands Protection Program - May 28, 2023, 3:00 pm