Democrat lawmakers voted down an amendment to deny federal relief funding to educational institutions that partner with Chinese entities and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) affiliates.
“The Chinese Communist Party will do everything possible to steal our intellectual property and research, compromise our professors, and even recruit individuals on campus for espionage,” Stefanik said, introducing the measure during the Feb. 9 Education and Labor Committee hearing.
“We value our institutions of higher education as forums for open thought and expression and incubators for innovation and learning. The Chinese Communist Party sees them as the opposite: forums for communist brainwashing and censoring speech, and unfortunately a marketplace for intellectual theft.”
The Democrat-controlled committee tossed Stefanik’s amendment in a 27-21 party-line vote during the 13-hour hearing that lasted into early morning hours of Feb. 10.
“The Subcommittee obtained a contract between Chinese teachers and Hanban that requires Chinese instructors at U.S. schools to ‘conscientiously safeguard national interests’ and terminates if the Chinese instructors ‘violate Chinese law’ or ‘engage in activities detrimental to national interests,’” the bipartisan report says, raising concerns over academic freedom and application of CCP laws at American universities.
The Trump administration in August urged universities to reconsider hosting the institutes, saying they advance the CCP influence by “providing institutions with financial incentives to abstain from criticizing PRC [People’s Republic of China] policies; putting pressure on faculty to self-censor; monitoring overseas students for loyalty to the party; and undermining freedom of expression by disrupting campus events deemed controversial to the CCP.”
Since then, however, the numbers significantly dwindled.