Beijing exploits America’s top research universities to boost the Chinese military-industrial complex, and it needs to stop.
A new report from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies details how China-sponsored Confucius Institutes at campuses across America facilitate Beijing’s espionage. In particular, research partnerships with 28 universities (including Stanford, Tufts and Texas A&M) boost Beijing’s military apparatus, including intelligence, nuclear weapons and cyberespionage platforms.
Confucius Institutes officially just offer Chinese language and cultural programming. But they also give Beijing a presence on campus that enables espionage, including pressure on Chinese students studying here to help the Chinese Communist Party’s objectives, from propaganda to snooping. And they facilitate forming the “research partnerships” that quietly let Beijing steal technology and other intellectual property.
Congress cracked down on the spying by banning universities that host Confucius Institutes from receiving key Defense Department grants and contracts; two-thirds of the institutes across US academia have since closed.
But 34 colleges have kept on: They get more money from partnering with Beijing. Congress clearly needs to crack down further.