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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Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.”
President Joe Biden and Xi are meeting for the first time in over a year during this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. Sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will crack down on Chinese companies manufacturing chemical precursors for fentanyl in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, which the Commerce Department added to the Entity List in 2020 for “engaging in human rights violations and abuses” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
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