WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling on the Biden Administration to explain its plans to cancel new transparency measures related to Confucius Institutes, which the U.S. intelligence community asserts is a part of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda arm. In a letter today to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Grassley outlines a lengthy record of congressional oversight and warnings from federal officials about China’s use of Confucius Institutes to seed pro-china sentiments in the United States.
“U.S. Government agencies, including within the Intelligence Community, have clearly asserted that the communist Chinese government uses Confucius Institutes embedded in our academic institutions as a propaganda tool within the United States. Accordingly, withdrawing the rule is cause for serious concern and weakens our ability to detect and deter foreign influence efforts by the communist Chinese government,” Grassley wrote.
“… it’s extremely concerning that the Biden administration has withdrawn the proposed rule that would have required schools to disclose their relationship with Confucius Institutes. The American public, and most importantly parents, should be able to know whether or not the school their child attends has a relationship with a Chinese government propaganda machine.”
Grassley has frequently warned of the risk China poses to American education and research institutions. This includes pro-China propaganda, challenges to academic freedom, and the security of taxpayer-funded research and intellectual property. In 2020, Grassley encouraged all schools with an active Confucius Institute to seek an FBI briefing on how China uses the institutes to seed pro-China sentiments within U.S. academia. As a result of those letters, the FBI held a teleconference with 44 schools. On the call, the FBI echoed Grassley’s warning and discussed how China is actively using its connections with U.S. research centers and potential cyber intrusions to monitor America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and research efforts to develop treatments.
Grassley’s letter responds to the Biden Administration’s plans to withdraw a Trump administration proposed rule requiring schools and universities to disclose their financial ties to Confucius Institutes.
Read Grassley’s letter to the Department of Homeland Security below:2021-02-11 CEG to DHS (Confucius Rule)