Representative Ken Barker (R-Colo.) hopes to eliminate the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on American academic institutions through the Confucius Institute funded by Beijing.
The congressman earlier this week submitted an amendment (pdf) to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 (NDAA), a large-scale defense bill that authorizes the level of defense spending and attempts to prohibit the use of funds in the legislation to ” Any person in the academic community provides funding”. Organizations that accept funding from the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government or their affiliates, or host Confucius Institutes. “
In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times, Buck described the Confucius Institute as “a channel for the Chinese government to conduct propaganda on American campuses.”
“Propaganda is misleading and untrue,” he added. “As the government, we should not fund higher education institutions that use and allow the dissemination of Chinese propaganda.”
The Beijing-funded Confucius Institute is known as the Chinese Language and Culture Project, and has aroused strong criticism in the United States for its role in promoting CCP propaganda and stifling academic freedom on American university campuses. During the Trump administration, the State Department designated the American Center of the Confucius Institute as a foreign mission in recognition of its role as a propaganda agent of the Chinese regime.
Trump administration officials and lawmakers also pressured universities to dissociate themselves from these institutes, leading to the closure of dozens of schools across the country. According to data from the Association of All Aesthetics, there are currently 36 Confucius Institutes in the United States, down from more than 100 in 2017.
“I hope the university can shut down the propaganda machine of one of our opponents,” Buck said.
This measure is one of four NDAA amendments submitted by Buck to the House Rules Committee, which will be reviewed on September 20 before the bill is submitted to the House of Representatives.
In another proposed amendment, the congressman is pushing for a ban on downloading TikTok, a video-sharing app owned by China, to U.S. government equipment.
“The threat is that the Chinese Communist Party… can use TikTok to collect sensitive information about Americans,” Buck said.
The Trump administration tried to ban TikTok in August last year, saying that the application might be used by the CCP to monitor Americans, but the order was never implemented due to multiple court orders. President Joe Biden lifted the ban in June, instead instructing the Ministry of Commerce to review applications linked to the Chinese regime in response to national security risks. TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has denied allegations that the app has a risk of espionage.
Buck also hopes that Congress will take a tougher stance on the CCP’s widespread human rights violations in Xinjiang, where more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained in a network of detention camps.
The current version of the House of Representatives NDAA condemned the CCP’s actions in Xinjiang, but did not label it as genocide. Buck hopes to change this.
“The term genocide is used in a specific way in international law and is condemned in a specific way in international law,” he said.
“It is important for the United Nations and our world allies to understand that the U.S. Congress believes that the Chinese government is committing genocide.”
The U.S. government and several other Western legislatures have recognized the CCP’s actions in Xinjiang as genocide.
The congressman called on the House of Representatives to pass these amendments, saying that Congress should “send a very strong message to China.”
“We will not tolerate their military activities around the world. We know their activities, we are concerned about these activities, we will not turn a blind eye,” he added.
“In this NDAA, our message is very important, that is, Congress absolutely firmly recognizes the threat from China,” he said.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times