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House Republican Leaders Urge Biden To Endorse Trump-Era Measure On Beijing Confucius Institutes

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) And other senior Republican Party representatives on Wednesday urged President Joe Biden to « resubmit the previously proposed rule on the reporting of the Confucius Institute without delay « to forge solutions to the » CCP’s threats to education and research integrity. « 

« Addressing the generational threat from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a preeminent national security concern for the United States, » McCarthy said in the statement.

« Among the multitude of threats we face from China, the CCP’s abuse of the US academic system to steal sensitive research and technology, limit freedom of expression and propaganda for our students is of particular concern. »

The Confucius Institutes advertise themselves as places to learn Mandarin, study Chinese culture, and win a scholarship. They are funded and largely run by Hanban, a nonprofit that claims to be nongovernmental, but is in fact directly controlled by the Beijing CCP, according to a report by the Senate National Security Committee’s Investigations Subcommittee (pdf ).

McCarthy referred to the rule presented by the Trump administration to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on December 31, 2020.

Under the rule, universities and K-12 schools would have to disclose their financial ties to Confucius Institutes (CI) and affiliated Confucius Classrooms.

McCarthy noted that ICs currently operate in at least 60 universities and around 500 Confucius classrooms in elementary and middle schools across the country.

In 2009, a member of the standing committee of the CPC Politburo and « czar of ideology » said that the CCP ICs are « an important part of China’s propaganda structure abroad, » McCarthy added.

« China wants to infiltrate every part of American life with its communist propaganda, » McCarthy wrote on Twitter. « We must stop them. »

The Confucius Institute building on the campus of Troy University in Alabama, USA on March 16, 2018 (Kreeder13 via Wikimedia Commons)

Customs and Immigration Control Service confirmed to Fox News that the rule was withdrawn on January 26.

However, Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, said in a press conference on February 11 that the Trump administration had never submitted its rule to the Federal Register because the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had not yet completed its review. . of the draft rule.

Price said the recall occurred due to a widespread regulatory freeze instituted by the Biden administration on inauguration day.

Price noted that the CIs would continue to be treated as a foreign mission of the Chinese regime. «[T]hat stands, ”he said.

However, Republican lawmakers want the Biden administration to urgently support the previous administration’s efforts to protect the « integrity of the academic system of the United States » and take its « first step in recognizing that the CCP threat ultimately derives from hostility to our fundamental democratic values ​​and attempts. ‘ to legitimize its own authoritarian system, which has its roots in Marxist-Leninist doctrine ”.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had written a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on February 11 asking why the rule was withdrawn.

« US government agencies, including within the intelligence community, have clearly asserted that the Communist Chinese government uses the Confucius Institutes embedded in our academic institutions as a propaganda tool within the United States, » Grassley said in the letter ( pdf). « Consequently, withdrawing the rule is of great concern and weakens our ability to detect and deter foreign influence efforts by the Chinese Communist government. »

The White House did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for further comment as of press time.

There has been a global pushback against CCP CIs, especially in Australia, Canada and the UK. In 2013, McMaster University of Canada became the first university in North America to close its CI.

The National Association of Scholars (NAS), an education advocacy group, reported that 64 CIs have closed or are in the process of closing as of February 17.

Representative Virginia Foxx (RN.C.), Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and Representative John Katko (RN.Y.) jointly signed the statement.

Frank Fang, Cathy He, and Petr Svab contributed to this report.