Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has infiltrated into every major U.S. university.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s inside every major American university today with research dollars and with their students,” Pompeo said during the “Sunday Morning Futures” program on Fox News on Jan 29.
He pointed to the University of Pennsylvania, which was in the spotlight recently after classified documents surfaced at its Penn Biden Center. President Joe Biden worked there from mid-2017 through 2019 until he started campaigning for the 2020 election.
“They’re at the University of Pennsylvania, too,” Pompeo said, referring to the invasion of the CCP.
The New York Post reported in April 2022 that the University of Pennsylvania received a sum of $54.6 million between 2014 and 2019 from China, based on public records.
“We now know that this Chinese money, these Chinese officials met classified documents in that space. They were in the same place,” he said.
“We need to find out if the Chinese Communist Party actually may have had access at the University of Pennsylvania, where President Biden clearly had documents that would have been a pretty open space,” Pompeo said.
“We need to know if there’s any risk they might have gotten a hold of them,” he added.
Pompeo echoed the statement of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), saying, “we need to know what’s in those documents, what the serious seriousness of them is, what potential breaches there are.”
Shutting Down of Trump-era “China Initiative”
The former secretary pointed to the Biden administration’s termination of the “China Initiative,” a Trump-era counter-espionage program in February 2022.
The initiative was launched by the Trump administration in 2018 to combat the Chinese regime’s state-sponsored espionage and theft of trade secrets. The program led to the prosecution of some two dozen U.S. academics, most of them Chinese people, who were alleged to have concealed funding ties with Chinese institutions and state-backed recruitment plans.
U.S. officials have warned that the Chinese regime uses recruitment programs, such as the “thousand talents program,” to lure foreign academics to work in China, a process that facilitates the transfer of technology and know-how to the country.
But the initiative’s targeting of ethnically Chinese professors drew the ire of many in the academic community, who alleged that the department was engaging in racial profiling and chilling scientific exchange between the United States and China.
“There’s so many questions about why President Biden hasn’t continued to pursue a confrontational approach with the Chinese Communist Party that will protect the American people,” Pompeo said.
He cited one of the major counter-espionage efforts made by the Trump administration—the closing down of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas in 2020.
Pompeo depicted the Chinese diplomatic facility in Texas as “the largest spy operation in the history of the United States.”
“We closed it down, and it was part of a broader program that was being worked on with the Justice Department and the State Department, all of which was aimed at protecting Americans from them stealing billions of dollars of intellectual property and destroying millions and millions of American jobs and then dumping this product back in our country,” he said.
The closure order for the consulate was “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information,” the then State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on July 22 that year. Senate Intelligence Committee acting Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the facility a “massive spy center” for the CCP.
“And sadly, the Biden administration reverted it back to where we were before the Trump administration was in office,” he added.
“If you’re afraid to enforce the rules, if you continue to allow them to walk on the American economy, if you keep giving an inch in every space, they’ll be inside the gates here in the United States. And frankly, that’s what we face today,” Pompeo said.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.