According to Breitbart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently gave a speech in which spoke about how many of our schools are “bought by Beijing” and how this has led to undesirable consequences.
“The U.S. Department of Education, over the last years, has found that schools have taken an estimated $1.3 billion from China since 2013,” Pompeo said. “That’s just what we know about. Like so many — like Columbia — so many schools have failed to report the true amounts.”
On “self-censoring” schools
The secretary of state’s speech took place on Wednesday at the Georgia Institute of Technology. It is part of the Trump administration’s more general approach to eliminating any CCP influence in the United States.
One of Pompeo’s main talking points was about the way many schools self-censor, in his words, “out of fear of offending China.” Pompeo described the mechanism that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses “to influence American students as well, professors and administrators.”
“Look, [the CCP] know[s] that left-leaning college campuses are rife with anti-Americanism, and present easy targets for their anti-American messaging. That’s why they planted Confucius Institutes on our campuses,” Pompeo said. Look, it’s why there are groups on campuses called Chinese Students and Scholars Associations here too.”
“They’re directed and almost always funded by the Chinese embassy or a local Chinese consulate,” Pompeo continued. “Its purpose, to keep tabs on students and to press pro-Beijing causes.”
The secretary of state argued that the reason “freedom-loving places like Georgia Tech and institutions and scholars all across the world, administrators, school faculty” don’t do something about this, but instead choose to censor themselves, is “out of fear of offending China.”
Weaponizing political correctness
Pompeo went on to reveal that he wanted to give this same speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but that the school’s president, Rafael Reif, “implied that [Pompeo’s] arguments might insult their ethnic Chinese students and professors.”
Pompeo, however, insisted that “nothing could be further from the truth,” that “those are the very people that this set of remarks is intended to protect, to protect their freedoms.” Pompeo then used this to demonstrate how the CCP uses political correctness to its advantage.
“And I must say that yielding to the objection of hurt feelings plays right into the Chinese Communist Party’s hands,” Pompeo said. “They watch America closely. It’s what the party says constantly in response to legitimate criticism around the world. You can see it.”
Look, we can’t let the CCP weaponize political correctness against American liberties. We have to protect and preserve them. Fraudulent cries of racism or xenophobia should never drown out a candid exposure of the activities of the Chinese Communist Party. But we see too often on American campuses that there’s silence and censorship. It’s being driven by the Chinese Communist Party. It usually boils down to something far less idealistic. So many of our colleges are bought by Beijing.
Pompeo warned that the CPP is “poisoning the well of our higher education institutions for its own ends” and that “If we don’t educate ourselves, if we are not honest about what is taking place, we’ll get schooled by Beijing.”