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Congressman Mo Brooks Seeks Answers from Troy University and Alabama A&M About Their Support for Communist China & Confucius Institutes

September 24, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC— Thursday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) sent a letter to the President of Alabama A&M University, Dr. Andrew Hugine, and the Chancellor of Troy University, Dr. Jack Hawkins, expressing concern with, and asking questions about, why they partner with the Chinese Communist Party and their Confucius Institutes.

Click HERE to download a copy of Congressman Brooks’ letter to Troy University and Alabama A&M University.

Congressman Brooks said, “Troy University and Alabama A&M University have questions to answer about their partnerships with the Chinese Communist Party. Forty-five patriotic American universities from thirty different states have shut down their Confucius Institutes since 2014. Communist China is America’s geopolitical foe, not our friend. Communist China’s lies about COVID19’s severity and contagious nature have contributed to the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans. Communist China’s use of slave labor should be an anathema to both Alabama A&M and Troy. The Communist Chinese Party cannot be allowed to gain influence over America’s education system or undermine American national security. Alabama A&M and Troy must wise up and stop aiding and abetting the Communist Chinese Party’s dangerous espionage and propaganda on American soil. They can do that by immediately closing their Confucius Institutes.”

Brooks concluded, “Confucius Institutes are nothing more than Communist Chinese Party propaganda and spying units. 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. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a ‘foreign mission,’ saying ‘Confucius Institutes are funded by the [People’s Republic of China] and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.’ The evidence against Communist China is overwhelming.”

The text of Congressman Brooks’ letter to Troy University and Alabama A&M University follows:

September 24, 2020

 

Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr.

President

Alabama A&M University

P.O. Box 4900

Normal, AL 35762-4900

 

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.

Chancellor

Troy University

600 University Ave,

Troy, AL 36082

 

President Hugine and Chancellor Hawkins:

I write to express my concern with Alabama A&M University and Troy University’s partnership with the Chinese Communist Party via the Confucius Institutes on your campuses. Confucius Institutes hurt the integrity of our higher education system, threaten national security, and unnecessarily risk taxpayer funded research at your schools. I encourage you to join dozens of other patriotic institutions across America and end your relationship with the Chinese Communist Party by closing Confucius Institutes at your universities.

With this letter I ask that you answer the following questions to assist with my work in Congress to combat China’s political influence in the United States, including the issue of whether Confucius Institutes should be allowed to continue. Please respond to the following questions by October 17, 2020.

  1. Since beginning your relationship with the Hanban, how much money has your university received from China?
  2. During that same time period, what is the total estimated value of in-kind contributions made to your university from China?
  3. Since beginning your relationship with the Hanban, how many students have participated in classes taught by the Confucius Institute?
  4. Since beginning your relationship with the Hanban, has the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) or any other U.S. government agency briefed university leadership about the security implications of accommodating a Confucius Institute?
  5. If the answer to the above question is ‘no’, my staff stands fully ready to assist you in setting up a secured briefing from the FBI.
  6. One of China’s goals with Confucius Institutes is to increase China’s soft power by bolstering its public image — often through misinformation. What does your Confucius Institute teach about China’s relationship to the following:
  7. Tibet?
  8. Taiwan?
  9. “Political Education” camps in Xinjiang?
  10. Falun Gong?
  11. The 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre?
  12. Human Rights Watch has stated that Confucius Institutes are, “fundamentally incompatible with a robust commitment to academic freedom.[1]
  13. Does your faculty exercise sole authority to alter the curriculum taught by your Confucius Institute?
  14. Has any person from the Chinese Ministry of Education, Hanban, or Confucius Institute ever requested that your university alter its curriculum to decrease discussion of topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese government?
  15. Has anyone at your university ever requested permission from the Hanban or any other Chinese agency before hosting a speaker or event on campus?
  16. What is the interviewing, vetting, and hiring processes implemented by your university when selecting a new Confucius Institute instructor?
  17. Have any of your Confucius Institute instructors received training from the Chinese Ministry of Education?
  18. What types of international trips between China and Alabama have been coordinated through the relationship established by the Confucius Institute?

When you provide answers to these questions, please also provide a copy of the syllabus and all learning material used by your Confucius Institute, or any course offered in relations to the Confucius Institute. I respectfully and strongly urge you to consider the risk that comes with partnering with Confucius Institutes— and the Chinese Communist Party— and, upon consideration, end the relationship. 

Sincerely,

 

______________________________

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05)                

 

CC: Governor Kay Ivey, Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon

 


[1] Resisting Chinese Government Efforts to Undermine Academic Freedom Abroad | A Code of Conduct for Colleges, Universities, and Academic Institutions Worldwide

https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/media_2020/09/190321_china_academic_freedom_coc.pdf

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