Sec. of State Mike Pompeo points to “left-leaning” U.S. colleges as “easy targets” for Chinese Communist Party

ATLANTA, GA  During an address at Georgia Tech on Wednesday, December 9, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his audience that “left-leaning” college campuses are “rife with anti-Americanism,” and, as such, constitute “easy targets” for anti-American activity at the hands of the Communist Party of China.

After opening with a story about a Chinese professor from Georgia Tech who traveled to China and was held and interrogated for two weeks about his research, Pompeo explained:

“The lesson, I think, that we can take away from this is clear.  It’s that the Chinese Communist Party wants what we have, and they will do whatever they must do to take it, and get it.

“They will steal our stuff.  They will pressure critics of the Chinese Communist Party to keep quiet.

“They will do whatever it takes.”

Pompeo added that Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping has been very clear that he wants “total control at home, and to make China the number one power abroad,” and that he is “well on his way to working on that project.”

The Secretary of State went on to point out that the “free world and free peoples” are the entities at the leading edge of innovation.

He said:

“Just think about it. Chinese Communist Party scientists aren’t pioneering cancer cures. We are. 

“And it’s not North Korean biochemists that are producing safe COVID vaccines. We are. 

“And Iranians aren’t ahead in supercomputing. No. In fact, we are. 

“It is the free world and free peoples that produce these superior results. And we should be very proud of that fact. “

In addition, he stated:

“Much of the high-end industrial base inside of China is based on stolen technology, or technology purchased from other nations. It’s not home-grown.”

Pompeo explained further that the fact that U.S. innovation is unmatched by China is the reason China sends 400,000 students to study here each year. 

Furthermore, Pompeo noted, China does not want its researchers to remain in the United States after their education and training is complete.

Rather, he said:

“They want to induce their return for the singular purpose of serving the Socialist Motherland.”

Pompeo asserted that the U.S., in its status at the forefront of technological advancement, has “an obligation to protect it, to preserve it.”

He added:

“Because on places like this campus, scientists have pioneered quantum computing, artificial intelligence, pediatric technology, even autonomous robots that can function without human control – and I must say that frightens me just a bit.”

The Secretary of State went on to share two illustrative examples of Chinese researchers who were caught stealing U.S. secrets.

One, a researcher at the University of California in San Francisco, allegedly lied about his position as a People’s Liberation Army officer.  This researcher was caught by the FBI after he collected information on UCSF labs.

The second studied electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  He allegedly admitted working with Chinese intelligence, which had directed him to recruit engineers and scientists.

Pompeo added that the Chinese Communist Party uses money in addition to such “cloaks and daggers” work, in order to acquire knowledge from the U.S.

He told the audience:

“There are many American scholars, often doing research funded by American taxpayers, that have been lured into the Chinese Communist Party’s talent recruitment programs.

“The CCP pays them, what is for them, a fortune, to do research related to their current fields for, or in, China.

“And then often uses the fruits of their brainpower to build its military strength.”

Pompeo went on to note that the Chinese Communist Party often pressures unwilling Chinese nationals to help them acquire U.S. secrets.

He said:

“Some of CCP’s biggest victims on campus are innocent Chinese nationals themselves.

“And this is a tragedy.  We have a responsibility to police this.”

Secretary Pompeo then cited examples of Chinese nationals targeted by the CCP.  

One was “demonized and harassed” after giving a commencement address praising free speech.  

Another, a student at the University of Georgia, was approached repeatedly by the CCP secret police for information on overseas dissidents, such as Tibetans. 

Still another group of students at Princeton found themselves forced to use code names to avoid detection and prosecution by the CCP.

Pompeo added:

“American students talk about safe spaces, a shelter from ideas they dislike.

“Chinese students need safe spaces to learn of ideas that they love.

“What a stark contrast.”

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It is not only the Chinese students themselves who are in danger from the CCP.  Pompeo stated that their families live in fear of being “arrested, tortured, or worse because of the things [the students] say in an American classroom.”

Furthermore, Pompeo stated, the CCP has found ways to influence American students, professors, and administrators.

He said:

“Look, they know that left-leaning college campuses are rife with anti-Americanism and present easy targets for their anti-American messaging.

“It’s why they planted Confucius Institutes on our campuses….

“These Confucius Institutes are literally up to no good.”

As we previously reported, Pompeo has called for the closure of all Confucius Institutes operating in colleges throughout the United States.  Such institutes innocently profess to teach Chinese language and culture, but they are actually vehicles for Chinese propaganda and influence – a fact openly confirmed by high level Chinese government officials.

Pompeo added that Chinese Student Scholars Associations on American college campuses are entities that are Beijing-funded and exist to “keep tabs on students and to press pro-Beijing causes.”

In addition, Pompeo asserted that the CCP has “weaponiz[ed] political correctness” against U.S. colleges in order to steal information and violate freedoms.

He stated that universities seldom push back against pressures from the CCP due to a “fear of offending China.”

Pompeo went on to say:

“I must say that yielding to the objection of hurt feelings plays right into the Chinese Communist Party’s hands.”

He continued:

“Fraudulent cries of racism or xenophobia should never drown out a candid exposure of the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Pompeo added that “silence and censorship” on the part of American colleges is “being driven by the Chinese Communist Party” and that “many of our colleges are bought by Beijing.”

He cited findings from the Department of Education that U.S. schools have received at least $1.3 billion dollars from China in recent years. He added that many schools, such as Columbia, have not been reporting funds they have accepted from China.

As an example of influential financial ties with China, Pompeo recounted the story of Vera Zhou, a senior at the University of Washington who is originally from China and is a permanent resident of the U.S.  

Zhou returned to China to visit her father in 2017. After she used a VPN to connect to U.W.’s website, she was placed in a re-education camp by Chinese authorities for five months, and put under house arrest for 18 months.

Pompeo asserted that the University of Washington refused to advocate for Zhou’s return, with Sarah Castro, the head of federal relations office at U.W., saying that “they wouldn’t help because of a multi-million dollar deal with China.”

Pompeo then asked:

“What more bad decisions will schools make because they are hooked on Chinese Communist Party cash?  

“What professors will they be able to co-opt or to silence?  

“What theft and espionage will they simply overlook?  

“What business deals will get done as a result of that?”

Pompeo concluded his address with a call to action, saying:

“Look, there’s a lot of work to do. And I have laid out a pattern and practice that every American needs to know about.

“And we need to begin to respond to this sooner rather than later. And our administration has begun to do that, but there is an awful lot more work to do.”

He went on to say:

“We cannot allow this tyrannical regime to steal our stuff, to build their military might and brainwash our people, or buy off our institutions to help them cover up these activities.

“We cannot let the CCP crush the academic freedom that has blessed our country and blessed us with great institutions like the place that I am standing today.”

Pompeo then asked for assistance with these efforts.  He said:

“We need help of students. We need help of faculty. We need help of administrations all across America. We need trustees to police their endowments and the deals their universities are striking with the CCP and CCP-backed groups.

“We need administrators to close Confucius Institutes and investigate what so-called student groups backed by the CCP money are actually up to on their campuses. The government will help, but we need people to assist us.

“We need researchers to be vigilant against fraud and theft, and the academic community to reject the CCP’s financial siren songs.”

Secretary Pompeo finished by saying:

“And we need students to truly stand for free speech – the free speech for themselves, those who grew up here in America, and especially the free speech of Chinese students who are on our campuses, who are here to study and learn and to improve their rights, their lives, and to enjoy the fruits of the freedom that we provide them here in the United States of America.”

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Author: Lizzy Murica

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