(March 1)  President Joe Biden’s refusal to hold China to account is even worse than we reported last week.

That’s the word from Robert Eitel, top legal aide at the Department of Education during two Republican administrations and now president of the Defense of Freedom Institute. In National Review Online, Eitel complains that Biden not only is dismantling the successful “China Initiative” against Chinese intellectual-property theft and espionage but has also stopped actively enforcing a law forcing colleges to disclose gifts and contracts from foreign entities such as the Communist Chinese.

We wrote last week numerous times about the bizarre decision to end the China Initiative. Eitel, whose work overseeing federal policy on higher education gave him a direct view on how China nefariously partners with American universities, explains why the initiative was needed. He says it helps counteract the worst parts of a Chinese program called the “Thousand Talents” plan, which “is a Chinese-government scheme that pays academics to infiltrate American research universities and abscond with technology secrets for the benefit of the Chinese state.

As an aside, Eitel also notes the hypocrisy of stopping a program that battled Communist Chinese influence, specifically because of the “mere perception” of “racial” bias, at the same time Biden defends open, flagrant discrimination against Asian Americans through race-based college admissions programs. And he is right about that, too.

Apart from that, here’s the big thing Eitel adds to last week’s reports on the China Initiative.

“Congress has understood for decades that foreign powers may seek to influence higher education and harm American interests through large gifts and contracts,” Eitel wrote. “In 1986, spurred by the efforts of Arab governments to influence U.S. educational institutions by way of large gifts to Middle East–studies programs, Congress required higher-ed institutions to report to the Education Department and to disclose to the public their foreign gifts and contracts…. The prior secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, rigorously enforced Section 117. Alas, Biden is doing the opposite…. [The full column is here.]



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