On June 17, a group of Republican senators introduced a new bill that would require U.S. universities to disclose their financial ties to the Chinese regime and counter economic influence. of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the field of higher education.
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Foreign Funding Accountability Act (The Foreign Funding Accountability Act) by Republican Senators Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Bill Hagerty (Tennessee), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) and Tim Scott (States) South Carolina) introduce. This measure wants to pass amendments to the disclosure requirements for foreign gifts and contracts under the Higher Education Act of 1965 to avoid foreign ill influence in U.S. colleges and universities.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has made consistent efforts to infiltrate American colleges and universities,” Cotton emphasized in a statement introducing the bill. “Our bill would close funding loopholes that would prevent the CCP and other foreign agents from donating millions or even billions of dollars to influence and steal American intellectual property.”
Beginning in 2019, the Department of Education under then-Secretary Betsy DeVos increased its oversight of the implementation of Section 117 of the Higher Education Act, requiring universities to clearly list all gifts and contracts involving foreign funds valued at $250,000 or more. Following that effort, an October 2020 report announced previously undisclosed $6.5 billion in foreign funds, including from China and Russia, and further conduct surveys of the compliance of 19 of the nation’s top universities with this requirement.
Essentially, this new bill would require American universities and colleges to disclose the full names of foreign donor organizations and state why these foreign gift transactions are taking place. .
The bill would also close loopholes that allow foreign actors to register for gift giving as well as exempt from inventory of gifts in kind. If signed into law, the minimum reporting threshold for gifts from abroad will be reduced from $250,000 to $25,000.
Organizations that violate the requirements of the measure will also be subject to a civil penalty structure. A first violation can cost the organization up to $250,000, and a second violation can result in a $750,000 civil penalty. For three or more violations, the regulation bill could increase fines up to $1,000,000.
Introducing the new bill, Senator Hagerty said: “As a strategic rival seeking to surpass the United States, the CCP will do its best to exert a negative influence on the free and open American society, including our higher education system. me.”
Hagerty said that by increasing transparency, closing loopholes, and imposing new civil penalties in US law, the new bill will deter the CCP and its intermediaries. “Hidden to ‘buy’ control and influence over our higher education, manipulate the content of teaching American students about China, and steal intellectual property from Chinese researchers. our country.”
Senator Scott added: “Attempts by the CCP and other bad actors to infiltrate the US education system are a blatant example of how foreign adversaries are trying to maintain and expand their global power in order to cause discontent. beneficial to us. By requiring higher education institutions to account for foreign funding, we are taking the necessary steps to promote transparency, protect our intellectual property, and ensure Our country’s future leaders get a quality education.”
The new bill comes as Congress considers the Confucius Act, which aims to reduce Beijing’s influence over US universities that currently host CCP-funded Confucius Institutes. The bill was passed by the Senate earlier this month with overwhelming consensus.
The number of Confucius Institutes in the United States dropped from around 100 to about 50 in May 2021, largely thanks to pressure from the Trump administration over the past two years.
“Communist China has infiltrated American colleges and universities,” Senator Blackburn affirmed. “We must end Beijing using money in exchange for influence in higher education. We cannot let the CCP buy back our children’s education.”
Minh Ngoc (According to Daily Wire)