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More than 3 years after stopping taxpayer dollars to fund coronavirus in China, money still going to Chinese, Russian labs

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Despite lessons learned from the global coronavirus pandemic, 27 Chinese laboratories – including some run by the Chinese Communist Party – are still eligible for U.S. government funding for research on animals. Information was unearthed during a review of Congressional Research Service data provided to Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst.

Real Clear Wire reports:

In late May, an analysis by Ernst and the watchdog group Open the Books found that the American research institutes had sent Chinese and Russian entities at least $1.3 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars over five years for various programs, including several at the Wuhan lab, as well as experiments forcing cats to run on treadmills in Russia and a gender-equality New Yorker cartoon exhibition in Beijing.

The CRS data showed that $490 million in U.S. grants and contracts were paid to Chinese entities, while another $780 million went to Russian entities. Before Ernst’s efforts, the Government Accountability Office estimated that the U.S. sent just $48 million to Chinese entities over the five-year period examined, from 2017 to 2021.

Senator Ernst believes the $1.3 billion she uncovered is likely the “floor, not the ceiling” for what she describes as “pointless projects” in China and Russia, accusing federal agencies of not following the trail of tax dollars overseas.

To ensure Congress knows where all its funding ends up, Ernst has introduced a bill requiring all U.S. funding for organizations in China and Russia to be tracked to its final destination and disclosed. Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican who chairs the China Select Committee, has authored a House version of the measure.

“Among many other troubling taxpayer-funded programs, I’ve got receipts showing how Americans unwittingly funded experiments on foxes at a Russian government fur farm, the Kremlin’s cat-on-a-treadmill experiments, the Wuhan lab that likely sparked the pandemic, and another CCP-run bioagent lab that collected dangerous bird flu viruses from filthy wet markets and engineered them to be more contagious,” Ernst told RCP in a statement.

“Our taxpayer dollars should not be funding foreign adversaries, and I’m working to cut this wasteful and reckless spending overseas.”

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China

New documents show China trying to establish ‘satellite state’ in Caribbean

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China has been “exploiting a fragile security environment and taking advantage of the region’s need for economic investment to gain influence and advance its malign agenda” in a move that challenges U.S. hegemony in the Americas, U.S. Southern Command Comm. General Laura Richardson recently told Congress in written testimony.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, located about 220 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is where China is planning to establish a special Chinese-run economic zone, according to documents reviewed by Newsweek

Just The News  reports that per the documents, the area will have its own customs and immigration facilities, a shipping port and it will even issue passports. China will also establish different kinds of businesses that will specialize in things from facial surgery to virology, the latter of which is closely associated with the research in Wuhan that is the suspected source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. military is “aware that China may use its commercial and diplomatic presence for military purposes. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, China has already abused commercial agreements at host-country ports for military aims; our concern is they may do the same in this region.”

More than two-thirds of the 31 nations under SOUTHCOM’s responsibility have signed onto China’s belt-and-road initiative, which is Beijing’s program to lend money to developing nations to use for infrastructure projects, according to Just The News.

Several nations have had problems with repaying such loans, resulting in Beijing seizing the country’s assets. For example, Sri Lanka struggled to pay back Beijing in 2017 and instead signed off the rights to a strategic port, according to Foreign Policy.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., a member of the House Oversight Committee proving China’s incursion inside the U.S. sphere of influence, told Just the News on Monday night that Beijing’s aggression in the Caribbean reminded him of the Soviet’s intervention in Fidel Castro’s Cuba more than a half century earlier.

“It reminds me of Russia’s involvement in Cuba, just 220 miles off the shore of the US Virgin Islands. We have Antigua. It used to be considered the United States back yard. Unfortunately, today, it’s China’s front yard,” Burlison told the “Just the News, No Noise television show. “And China has used the united front to enter into loan agreements and contracts to create trade zones within Antigua in order to gain a foothold into the Caribbean.”

“And this is just part of their efforts around the globe, whether it’s in African countries or Laos. They’re they’re creating a network to try to undermine the U.S. dollar and try to end run around some of our tariffs and other programs,” he warned.

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