The Department of Education (DOE) launched an investigation into Ivy League universities over potential failures “to report hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign gifts and contracts,” naming Chinese Communist Party-linked telecommunications company Huawei as a prime suspect.
The investigation was launched on the same day the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Huawei with “racketeering” and “conspiracy to steal trade secrets,” signifying the Trump administration’s crackdown on the CCP conduit.
If successful, Huawei’s crusade to dominate 5G, the newest generation of cellular communications, would grant them “back door” access to spy on devices operating with their software.
And the Department of Education is concerned the company is exploiting American universities to achieve that goal.
The report singles out two top-ranked institutions, Harvard and Yale:
“In recent weeks, the Department discovered Yale University may have failed to report at least $375 million in foreign gifts and contracts, choosing not to report any gifts and contracts over the last four years. The Department is also concerned Harvard University may lack appropriate institutional controls over foreign money and has failed to report fully all foreign gifts and contracts as required by law.”
As hotbeds for American innovation and research, universities are a prime target of foreign governments seeking to expand their influence through endowments, campus partnerships, or institutes.
Since 1990, DOE records “show U.S. universities and colleges have reported donations from Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in excess of $6.6 billion,” adding “this sum may be significantly underestimated.”
And this investigation follows the DOJ indicting “Dr. Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, for lying about his involvement with the Chinese government’s Thousand Talents Plan” along with two Chinese nationals for “conspiracy to aid China.”
The DOE’s request for both institutions to disclose their connections to Huawei comes as no surprise since the company announced publicy in July 2019 they would spend more than $300 million annually to fund research at American universities. Although some public institutions have distanced themselves from the company after the Trump administration threatened their federal funding.
The investigation heeds the Senate’s 2019 “Chinas’ Impact On The U.S. Education System” report which “describes foreign spending on U.S. schools as “a black hole” because colleges and universities “routinely” fail to comply with the law, and reported foreign money can come with strings attached that might compromise academic freedom.”
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The investigation also focuses on the impact of Confucius Institutes (Hanban), a “propoganda arm of the Chinese government,” per the Senate report’s findings:
- Nearly 70% of U.S. schools that received more than $250,000 from Hanban failed to properly report that information to the Department of Education.
- From January 2012 to June 2018, 15 U.S. schools reported receiving $15,472,725 directly from Hanban, a propaganda arm of the Chinese government. To get a more comprehensive understanding of Hanban’s spending in the United States, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations requested financial records from 100 U.S. schools and found Hanban directly contributed $113,428,509 to U.S schools—more than seven times the amount U.S. schools actually reported (Senate Report at p. 70).
- On average, fewer than 300 of the approximately 6,000 U.S. colleges and universities report receiving foreign money each year. The data indicates most foreign funds reportedly flow into approximately 50 large institutions.
The writing is on the wall: CCP proxies are targeting American college campuses.
Thankfully, the Trump administration is bringing this decades-long espionage to an end.