The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Republican Senator Introduces Bill to Counter ‘Chinese Threat’ to Campuses

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) seems very concerned about the Chinese influence on campuses across the country.

Hawley, along with Representative Mark Walker, introduced a bipartisan Homeland Security Counterintelligence Threat Reduction Act legislation that would protect sensitive information in higher education institutions.

Earlier this year, he introduced two different bills that seek to stop the theft of sensitive American research by the foreign spies and prohibit students from receiving student or research visas to the United States who are employed or sponsored by institutions linked with the Chinese military.

The new bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to form a task force within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the programs and make recommendations to improve counterintelligence vetting.

“Intelligence officials have warned us that the Chinese Communist Party is using student spies to steal our technology and undermine our national security on college campuses,” Hawley said.

Faculty members at certain colleges and universities would be required to take counterintelligence awareness training. It also requires enhancements to the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

“We have a duty to protect American intellectual property,” Rep Walker said. “This legislation will give the Department of Homeland Security the resources necessary to properly prevent foreign abuse of our educational investments and promote America as a leader in innovation.”

Earlier this year, the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reported concerns over the China-funded Confucius Institutes. Its report found the Chinese government spending more than $150 million on the institutes over the last decade to limit criticism of its political policies in America.

Higher Ed. Organizations Alarmed Over Surveillance of Chinese Students