Biden Admin Quietly Kills Trump Proposal to Track Communist Chinese 'Front Groups' in US Schools


The Biden administration quietly withdrew a rule proposed by the Trump administration that would have required American schools and universities to disclose their partnerships with Confucius Institutes, which some U.S. officials allege are front groups for Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

The Trump administration submitted the rule to the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 31, 2020.

Around 500 K-12 schools and 65 colleges in the U.S. have partnerships with the Confucius Institute U.S. Center, a U.S. affiliate of the Beijing-based Confucius Institute Headquarters.

The institute is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Many of the institute’s directors are members of the Chinese Communist Party or have close ties to the organization, the Daily Caller News Foundation has previously reported.

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The Trump-era proposal was withdrawn from consideration on Jan. 26, according to the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which operates under the Office of Management and Budget and the White House.

The OIRA website does not provide any other information about the proposal, or why it was tabled.

The website does say that at any point in the review process for a proposed rule, “an agency may withdraw its rule from review and choose not to move forward with it or to resubmit it after further consideration.”

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to questions about withdrawing the proposal.

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Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized President Joe Biden on Tuesday following reports that his administration had withdrawn the rule.

“Confucius Institutes are front groups for the Chinese Communist Party on American campuses,” Cotton said in a statement.

He said that the federal government should shut down the “regime-run institutes” or “at a minimum, require colleges to disclose their secret agreements with them.”

“Instead, the Biden administration is allowing a foreign influence operation to continue in the shadows,” Cotton said.

Rubio said that the FBI has warned that the Chinese Communist Party uses Confucius Institutes to “infiltrate American schools.”

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In August, the Trump administration labeled the Confucius Institutes U.S. Center a “foreign mission” of the Chinese Communist Party, a designation typically used for foreign embassies and consulates.

The Foreign Missions Act applies to entities that are “substantially owned or effectively controlled by a foreign government.”

Trump administration officials said that the Chinese government used the Confucius Institutes as part of its propaganda and influence efforts in the U.S.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who spearheaded many of the Trump administration’s China initiatives, said in August that the Confucius Institute was “an entity controlled by the PRC that advances Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.”

The Confucius Institute U.S. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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