Senator Marco Rubio and House Representative Jim Banks introduced legislation prohibiting any Department of Defense funding to universities that host Confucius Institutes, which are linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to the Florida Republican’s statement, the bill for “No Federal Funding for CCP Spying and Persuasion in Educational Settings Act of 2023 (SPIES)” would close some loopholes in the Biden Administration that still permit evaluation over whether to deny or approve exemption requests from universities that have these institutes.
“Confucius Institutes continue to threaten the American people as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses colleges and universities to influence higher education in our nation,” the senator said, stressing that U.S. taxpayers should not support the Chinese regime.
Introduced a bill that would close a Confucius Institute Waiver Program (CIWP) loophole. This legislation would prohibit any @DeptofDefense funding for colleges that host Confucius Institutes.https://t.co/eMPLq2yElJ pic.twitter.com/X5hJWUw5gI
— Senator Marco Rubio (@SenMarcoRubio) June 7, 2023
The release also reports that Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.
“There is no situation where we should make it easier for the Chinese Communist Party to spy on our universities. Safeguarding American research by ensuring no DOD funds go to universities with Confucius Institutes is common sense and vital to our national security,” the representative said.
The educational institutions are part of a project created in 2004 and part of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. These institutes operate within universities worldwide, claiming that they intend to promote the culture of the Asian country. However, these programs have sparked controversy due to concerns that they could be used for political influence and espionage abroad.
Banks says these institutes are “spreading CPP propaganda, monitoring students and dissidents, and providing China a launching pad for espionage against our nation’s most valuable research and technology.”