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GOP lawmakers call out Biden for withdrawing from Trump plan to counter China’s influence in U.S. institutions

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The Biden administration quietly withdrew a rule, proposed by the Trump administration, that would have required schools and universities in the United States to report their relationships with Confucius Institutes.

Many GOP lawmakers are concerned that the Biden administration is allowing a foreign influence to operate in the U.S.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, released a statement Tuesday condemning the Confucius Institute rule reversal.

“Confucius Institutes are front groups for the Chinese Communist Party on American campuses. The federal government ought to shut down these regime-run institutes or, at a minimum, require colleges to disclose their secret agreements with them. Instead, the Biden administration is allowing a foreign influence operation to continue in the shadows,” Cotton said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL, tweeted Tuesday, “FBI has warned about #China’s Communist Party using #ConfuciusInstitute to infiltrate American schools. But now Biden quietly withdrawn rule proposed by Trump admin to require schools & universities to disclose their partnerships with these agents of Chinese govt influence.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, called Biden’s decision “not only short-sighted & harmful – it decreases transparency in our education system & emboldens the CCP.”

Confucius Institutes are public educational partnerships between colleges and universities in China and colleges and universities in other countries. They are funded by the Chinese government.

Around 500 K-12 schools and 65 colleges in the U.S. have partnerships with the Confucius Institute U.S. Center.

The Trump administration had concerns that the Chinese Communist Party was using American university campuses to engage in espionage, spread propaganda and promote censorship.

The Trump administration’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in August that the Confucius Institute was “an entity controlled by the PRC that advances Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on US campuses and K-12 classrooms.”

The Trump administration began requiring Confucius Institutes to register as foreign missions. The Confucius Institute U.S. Center had to regularly provide information to the State Department about its personnel, recruiting, funding and operations in the United States.

The Daily Caller reported that the Trump administration submitted a proposed rule to the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 31, 2020, titled ‘Establishing Requirement for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Certified Schools to Disclose Agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms.’

The proposal was withdrawn from consideration on Jan. 26, 2020, according to The Daily Caller.

The Confucius Institute U.S. Center has not commented on the issue.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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