Republican members of the House Oversight Committee on Monday announced a probe into Chinese funding of programs at American universities and colleges.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Education, the representatives requested “information, documents, and communications” pertaining to “acceptance or reporting of foreign gifts” by university professors and departments.
“This joint inquiry is in furtherance of Congressional Republican’s efforts to investigate the Chinese government’s propaganda and cover-up campaign surrounding this pandemic,” the letter reads. Signatories include Representatives Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), Virginia Foxx (R., N.C.), Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), and others.
“We cannot allow a dangerous communist regime to buy access to our institutions of higher education, plain and simple,” Jordan said in a statement. “We owe it to the American people to hold China accountable and to prevent them from doing further harm to our country.”
The Chinese government has funded Confucius Institutes at numerous U.S. universities, ostensibly to promote knowledge of Chinese language and culture but which intelligence agencies have warned are essentially propaganda efforts.
The head of Harvard’s chemistry department in January was charged by the Justice Department with failing to disclose funding from the Chinese government. The Department of Education in February announced it had opened an investigation into foreign funding of American universities by China, Iran, Russia, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.