Initiatives for China to Senator Cruz on "Stop Higher Education Espionage and Theft Act of 2018"
Dear Senator Cruz:
On behalf of Initiative for China/Citizen Power, and all Americans deeply concerned about China's insidious efforts to covertly invade the American Education system, I wish to express our great appreciation for your introduction of the Stop Higher Education Espionage and Theft Act of 2018. We strongly support it.
Your legislation would clearly strengthen the US Government's capacity to deal with foreign, intelligence organizations of any nation secretly operating inside American colleges and universities. But the official U.S. investigations, and the congressional testimony that we and others have provided in recent years, taken together, overwhelmingly demonstrates that the Chinese Communist Party's intelligence agencies pose the greatest threat to the democratic way of life in America and the rest of the free world. A variety of tempting financial benefits, ultimately sourced by China's security agencies has spawned a dangerous and growing penetration of the higher education system in the world democracies.
Their secret operations threaten American security on two distinct levels. First, Chinese intelligence agents posing as students, use that role as cover for them to travel freely in America, seek out sources of information and covertly conduct their spring missions. In addition, visiting Chinese scientists and other academic experts are able to aid professional spies in learning about the vast amount of government-related research conducted at American universities.
Second, Chinese agents attending educational institutions can act as watchdogs to spy on the public statements, classroom lectures, and campus activities of school officials, faculty members, and student leaders. China's agents then report back to Beijing any exposure and criticism of China's brutal human rights repression and it's aggressive foreign policies. This is a key element of China's immense propaganda effort against the U.S.
As you know, one of China's most egregious program is its network of Confucius Institutes at some of our most prestigious schools. The Chinese agents running them have often been exposed taking direct offensive action, such as efforts to harass or threaten Chinese American faculty, and to discourage eminent guest speakers, including the Dalai Lama.
Schools in both the U.S. and other democracies have taken steps to expel them, once their offensive tactics were exposed. That illustrates the value your legislation would provide.
We have reviewed your bill's provision for reporting and disclosure of relations with foreign entities, and for FBI designation of "foreign intelligence threats to higher education." It admirably balances precise oversight regulation to counter this threat with provisions to safeguard academic freedom and civil liberties, including judicial review to contest that designation.
Finally, we wish to express our sincere appreciation for your persistently defending human rights of all those ethnic and faith minorities, human rights defenders and their attorneys, and peaceful dissidents viciously oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party. Initiatives for China/Citizen Power advocates on behalf of them all, and we are grateful for your commitment to human rights.
Dr. Jianli YANG
Founder and President of Initiatives for China/Citizen Power
Address: 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20009