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Congressman Mo Brooks Provides U.S. Senate Committee Report Warning of Confucius Institutes to Every Alabama Legislator as Closures Considered

February 25, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC— Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) recently mailed each of Alabama’s 140 legislators a letter and a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations staff report detailing the Communist Chinese Party’s nefarious attempts to subvert America’s interests by infiltrating our education system through so-called Confucius Institutes. The Alabama legislature is considering closing Communist Chinese Party Confucius Institutes at Alabama universities.

Congressman Brooks said, “Alabama leaders should use every possible tool at their disposal to close Communist Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes at both Troy University and Alabama A&M University. These so-called ‘institutes’ are nothing more than Communist Chinese propaganda units. Just in the last 3 years, 40 patriotic American universities have shut down their Confucius Institutes. Alabama should show similar love for America by doing the same.”

Brooks continued, “The Communist Chinese Party cannot be allowed to gain influence over America’s education system or undermine American national security. The evidence against Communist China is overwhelming. The American Association of University Professors has decried the threat Communist China poses to academic freedom and the Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division has warned of Communist China’s efforts to conduct espionage through Confucius Institutes. Communist China is America’s geopolitical foe, not our friend. America must wise up and fight back against Communist China’s egregious espionage and propaganda on American soil.”

Brooks concluded,“I hope Alabama legislators will heed the warnings of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations staff report as they consider closing Communist Chinese Party Confucius Institutes at Alabama universities. The Biden Administration has inexplicably rolled back sensible Trump policies to fight back against Communist Chinese Party influence on American campuses. States like Alabama, that realize the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party, must now take the lead in the fight against Chinese influence. Jackson County Representative Tommy Hanes has introduced America First legislation to close Alabama Confucius Institutes. I urge the legislature to pass the bill without delay.”

Text of Congressman Brooks’ letter to legislators follows:

February 11, 2021

 

Dear Senators and Representatives,

I am writing to express my concerns with Chinese Communist Party funded Confucius Institutes and their continued deleterious presence in Alabama. While many universities across the United States have voluntarily barred Confucius Institutes, Troy University and Alabama A&M continue to maintain Confucius Institutes on their campuses. These institutes pose a threat to our higher education system, national security, and taxpayer funded research. Consequently, I ask that you support Representative Tommy Hanes bill, HB9, prohibiting Alabama’s public universities from supporting or affiliating with Chinese funded Confucius Institutes.

By way of background, Confucius Institutes are established, funded, and operated by the Communist government of the Peoples Republic of China.[1] These institutes are managed by the Hanban also known as the Chinese Language Council International.[2] Just in the last 3 years, 40 patriotic American universities have shut down their Confucius Institutes as they were made aware of the same concerns I bring to your attention now.[3] In Alabama’s case, Alabama A&M is partnered with the Nanjing Forestry University and Troy University with Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology.[4] Confucius Institutes are not just on college campuses and exist in K-12 schools as “Confucius Classrooms.”[5]

Last year, the State Department designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a Foreign Mission of the People’s Republic of China calling it “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. college campuses and K-12 classrooms.”[6]

Even more alarming, the Chinese Communist Party is using their relationship between Confucius Institutes and American universities to conduct espionage on American soil.[7]In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2018, then-Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division, Bill Priestap, stated that China’s information enhancement programs are “brain gain programs” that “encourage theft of intellectual property from U.S. institutions.”[8]

Alabama makes vital contributions to America’s national security apparatus and will continue to do so long-term. Recently, the Air Force announced their decision to make Huntsville the home of Space Command. This new combatant command will be responsible for providing space-based capabilities to the rest of the force. It is important that these entities be able to operate securely and that we guard against potentials for espionage. 

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at length about Chinese government infiltration of the American education system, specifically Confucius Institutes. Secretary Pompeo cited “very credible reports of Chinese Government officials pressuring Chinese students – students studying right here in the United States of America – to monitor fellow Chinese students and to report back to Beijing.”[9] Continuing to allow China to gain influence over our education system undermines American national security and the efforts to protect the brilliant minds that keep America competitive.

Finally, to this letter I am attaching the executive summary of the United State Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs report titled: CHINA’S IMPACT ON THE U.S. EDUCATION SYSTEM. The full report is available at this link https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/PSI%20Report%20China's%20Impact%20on%20the%20US%20Education%20System.pdf

This report shows that the Chinese Communist Party controls nearly every aspect of Confucius Institutes. It also points out that the United States does not have the ability to establish similar or reciprocal programs in China. Bottom line, these institutes are funded and controlled by a foreign power whose goals are to replace the United States and to promote communism. I strongly urge you to support Representative Tommy Hanes’ bill and remove the safe harbor for the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda in our schools. Please feel free to reach out to my office should you have any questions regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

 

______________________________

Mo Brooks

Member of Congress

 

[1] Inside Higher Ed, “Closing Confucius Institutes,” 9 January 2019.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/01/09/colleges-move-close-chinese-government-funded-confucius-institutes-amid-increasing

[2]  Congressional Research Service, "Confucius Institutes in the United States: Selected Issues,” 15 April 2019.  https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11180

[3]  National Association of Scholars, “How Many Confucius Institutes are in the United States?” Updated 21 January 2021. https://www.nas.org/blogs/article/how_many_confucius_institutes_are_in_the_united_states

[4]  National Association of Scholars, “Confucius Institutes in the United States May 2020 Report,” May 2020.https://www.nas.org/storage/app/media/Reports/Outsourced%20to%20China/confucius-institutes-in-the-us-updated-may-15-2020.pdf

[5]  National Association of Scholars, “How Many Confucius Institutes are in the United States?” Updated 15 May 2020. https://www.nas.org/blogs/article/how_many_confucius_institutes_are_in_the_united_states

[6]  Voice of America, “U.S Designates Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a Foreign Mission of PRC,” 28 August 2020, https://editorials.voa.gov/a/u-s-designates-confucius-institute-u-s-center-as-a-foreign-mission-of-prc/5562037.html

[7]  China’s Non-Traditional Espionage Against the United States: The Threat and Potential Policy Responses Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 115th Cong. (2018), available at https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/chinas-non-traditional-espionage-against-the-united-states-the-threat-and-potential-policy-responses

[8]  Id. 

[9]  U.S. States and the China Competition, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, National Governors Association Winter Meeting, 8 February 2020. https://2017-2021.state.gov/u-s-states-and-the-china-competition//index.html

 

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