A Republican congressman and his colleagues are hoping to crack down on the Chinese Communist Party’s “trojan horse” activities taking place in U.S. universities.
Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) recently introduced H.R.7779, which proposes “to establish Department of Homeland Security funding restrictions on institutions of higher education that have a relationship with Confucius Institutes.” There are currently 15 Republican co-sponsors of the bill.
Speaking to The Epoch Times in late June, Pfluger explained that “the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] is utilizing Confucius Institutes to infiltrate American university campuses to engage in espionage, steal our intellectual property, intimidate Chinese dissidents, promote communist propaganda, and funnel information back to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).”
He also said that “under no circumstances should American taxpayer dollars be used to enrich the CCP or the PLA [People’s Liberation Army],” adding that “Congress must ensure taxpayer dollars are cut off from these programs for good.”
As Confucius Institutes (CIs) became more exposed and began to shut down across the country, a new report by the National Institute of Scholars (NAS) suggests that many of the public educational and cultural promotion programs are rebranding themselves—continuing the CCP’s effort to influence operations within the United States.
Although over 100 of the 118 CIs in the United States have closed or are in the process of closing, Beijing remains committed to influencing U.S. universities. At least 38 programs have been replaced by comparable substitutes, according to the NAS report.
NAS senior research fellow and co-author of the report, Rachel Peterson, stated at a June 21 discussion forum that “the Chinese government is betting that if it takes away the name ‘Confucius Institute’ and tweaks the structure of their program, no one will be the wiser and realize that Chinese government influence remains alive and well on American higher education.”