President Biden just quietly tossed out a proposed rule that would have required U.S universities and K-12 schools with foreign exchange programs to disclose any contracts, partnerships, or financial transactions from Confucius Institutes or Confucius Classrooms.
The proposed rule titled ‘Establishing Requirement for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Certified Schools to Disclose Agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms’ was submitted to the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 31, 2020, after the Trump administration and U.S officials accused the Chinese language program of spreading communist propaganda fed from Beijing.
The rule states that if any of the schools failed to report any information, then the Student and Exchange Visitor Program certification would be denied. The Trump administration’s foreign mission designation never banned the education programs altogether, nor did they issue guidelines on what the programs can and can’t teach. It only required that they disclose all information. David Stillwell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs even stated that they were not kicking the program out, but just highlighting the fact that these folks do work for the Ministry of Education of the (Chinese) Communist Party.
Many Republicans, including House Foreign Affairs ranking member Michael McCaul, criticized Biden’s move with rejecting the proposal. It’s been even more disturbing since the education industry already fails to report billions of dollars in foreign gifts and contracts. They urged the Biden Administration to stick to their promises in prioritizing national security challenges in the American education system.
“By quietly backing away from the proposed rule without consulting Congress, the Biden administration is sending a concerning signal about its scrutiny of CCP influence in academia, and telling academic institutions that they don’t need to be transparent about their ties to China’s regime,” McCaul said.
The program has also been accused of working to exploit research in research labs and academic institutions, such as the Thousands Talents Program. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had released are report indicating how universities had failed to disclose $6.5 billion in funding.
Another 109-page bipartisan report in November 2019 concluded that foreign nations “seek to exploit America’s openness to advance their own national interests” and “the most aggressive of them has been China.” At least 45 K-12 schools and universities in the U.S have decided to close their CI programs after concerns about academic freedom and pro-China propaganda.
President Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield said it was a “huge mistake” to deliver a paid speech before the Savannah State University’s Confucius Institute branch. She strongly agreed during her Senate testimony that she would support Congress’s crackdown on Confucius Institutes, noting the debt trap tactics they have used in Africa and elsewhere.
“Truthfully, I wish I had not accepted the specific invitation, and I came across from the experience frankly alarmed at the way the Confucius Institutes were engaging with the black community in Georgia. It reminded me of what I’d seen in Africa — the Chinese government going after those in need with fewer resources,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
The Biden Administration is letting foreign influences operate in the dark, instead of holding them accountable for the propaganda infiltrating through our education systems. We all know the Biden family has ties with the Chinese government…there must be some great ROI for them on this deal.
— American Conservatives (@AmConservatives) February 10, 2021