The investigative reporter and author of the new book “Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win” told The Star News Network that U.S. colleges and universities are not complying with federal reporting laws in regard to their gifts from China and Chinese nationals.
“Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 is very explicit,” said Peter Schweizer, the founder and president of the Government Accountability Institute and the host of The Drill Down podcast. “It says that if U.S. colleges and universities take in foreign donations, they’re required to report those to the federal government.”
The problem is acute when it comes to institutions of higher learning reporting contributions from China, he said.
One example is Yale University and the millions of dollars it received from Joseph Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets and co-founder of the Chinese-based e-commerce site Alibaba, which has a market capitalization of more than $200 billion.
“This is particularly applicable to China today,” Schweizer said.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars [are donated] to American colleges and universities from Chinese nationals, many of them linked to the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state,” he said.
In the case of Tsai, Schweizer said, he has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Yale.
“He says they come from his foundation in California. The problem is, when you look at the foundation based in California, it lists really no assets and certainly does not mention any gifts to Yale,” Schweizer said.
Another problem is that these Chinese contributions come with conditions, such as forbidding colleges and universities to allow criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state, he said.
When Hong Kong student leader and former legislator Nathan Law tried to speak at Yale’s Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking, he was not welcomed by the Tsai Center, Schweizer said.
“Those strings attached can be subtle, but they’re direct and real,” he said. “I think it’s having a major effect on the conversation on China that’s taking place today on college campuses.”
The investigative journalist said another flagrant violator of the federal reporting of foreign gifts law is Pennsylvania University, especially after President Joseph R. Biden Jr. opened the Penn Biden Center for Engagement and Global Diplomacy at the school.
The woman who created the Biden Center when she was president of The University of Pennsylvania, Amy Gutmann, was confirmed January 12 as Biden’s ambassador to Germany.
Watch the segment:
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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network. Send him news tips at: [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: neilwmccabe2.