Senators Urge AG Garland to Investigate Chinese Student Scholar Organizations

Senators Urge AG Garland to Investigate Chinese Student Scholar Organizations

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
December 12, 2023

Senator and former presidential candidate Tim Scott (R-SC) has led some of his cohorts in sending a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland to share their worries about Chinese influence in the American education system.

More specifically, the senators are concerned about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) influence on Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) in U.S. colleges and universities.

Joining Sen. Tim Scott, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Budd (R-NC), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) wrote the letter to A.G. Garland asking for more attention to the issue.

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“With the closure of many Confucius Institutes, the CCP is relying on other actors, including CSSAs, to influence U.S. academic institutions. This issue requires greater attention from the United States government,” wrote Scott and the senators.

Later in the letter to Garland, they penned, “There are currently 150 known CSSA chapters on American campuses. These organizations purport to ‘support’ Chinese students overseas, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has shown they often serve as extensions of China’s party-state. They ‘can be co-opted into foreign government appendages’ that intimidate and monitor Chinese overseas students while shaping favorable public perceptions of Beijing foreign policies.”

Additionally, the senators’ letter mentioned multiple instances of the CCP attempting to control its citizen-students from afar. This includes calling their foreign scholars to “fervently love the motherland” by enforcing them to support China’s attempt to reunify with Taiwan (One China Principle). Also, they are called to disrupt lectures that “question CCP ideology or views,” including discussions on the genocide of Uyghurs.

Finally, the legislators asked for the Department of Justice to answer whether CSSA chapters should have to register under FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act), as they believe there is “clear evidence that CSSAs act as an arm of the PRC for the purpose of shaping U.S. policy and public opinion, and the United States should therefore evaluate whether they are required to register as foreign agents.”

The letter was sent on Dec. 8.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the Sunshine State, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE), and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView, as well as the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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