Concern continues to grow over the impact the Chinese government has on academic institutions around the United States via its Confucius Institutes (CIs) and Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs).
Nearly four years ago, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) asserted, “North American universities permit Confucius Institutes to advance a state agenda in the recruitment and control of academic staff, in the choice of curriculum, and in the restriction of debate.”
Just over a month ago, US Senator Rubio sent a letter to all Florida universities hosting Confucius Institutes saying, “…the Chinese government’s increasingly aggressive attempts to use ‘Confucius Institutes’ and other means to influence foreign academic institutions and critical analysis of China’s past history and present policies” are, in reality, limiting academic freedom while promulgating Chinese Communist Party agendas.
Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton recently sent out letters to Tufts University and University of Massachusetts, Boston asking them to cut their ties with CIs as both universities host the institutes on their campuses.
In mid-February, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray echoed Rubio’s concerns before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He warned against CCP spies infiltrating American universities and lamented the level of naiveté́ and vulnerability of U.S. academic and business sectors to aggressive infiltration by Chinese entities that do not abide by Western ethics.
In a WaPo editorial , Josh Rogin pointed out that over a hundred U.S. universities are actually in partnership with the Chinese government as a result of their Confucius Institute agreements. Confucius Institutes monitor Chinese students studying in the United States and place constraints on the ability of all students to learn, understand or discuss the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party.
Foreign Policy published an exposé of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association that has branches at dozens of U.S. universities. After the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a directive ordering schools to instill greater patriotism and love for the party in all students, even those studying abroad, Chinese consular officials have been exerting increased influence over students studying in the United States. Chinese students and researchers who are members of Harvard Medical School’s CSSA are urged to unite with Chinese embassy staff “for the prosperity and strength of the motherland.”
Senior research analyst at Freedom House, Sarah Cook, outlines how America should respond to Beijing’s growing influence abroad. She suggests combating the Chinese Communist Party’s subtle and stealthy influence by investigation and exposure, increasing public and policy debate, upholding local legal standards, and encouraging actions by influential private and civic entities.
Many prominent U.S. universities with medical schools host both CIs and CSSAs. Have these organizations influenced and suppressed American academicians from investigating and critically analyzing China’s transplantation ethics? Medical academics and transplant professionals have long known of China’s disregard for internationally accepted transplant ethical standards that condemn sourcing organs from executed prisoners. In fact, China’s 1984 provision allowing the use of prisoner organs is still in place.
For over a decade, the academic medical community has not seriously addressed the extensive evidence of ongoing live forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, much of which has been published in the medical literature. Instead, U.S. medical schools and residency programs continue to train Chinese medical students and surgeons. It is time for America’s academic physicians, who may have been misled by dogma spouted by CIs and CSSAs, to face the realities of the Communist Party regime’s twenty year-long persecution and organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China.