Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday sent a letter to the presidents of 26 Florida research colleges and universities in his state, alerting them to be on guard against espionage initiatives by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“I write to bring your attention to a thorny issue that threatens to compromise our nation’s security as well as the integrity of the research and development enterprise in Florida,” Rubio said in the letter, noting that the Chinese regime is taking advantage of research collaboration and educational exchange to “covertly advance a malign agenda.”
According to Rubio, a lot of the innovation and also expertise the CCP tries to acquire from American study establishments is unidentified, yet being unidentified does not suggest it is worthless.
“The CCP quietly seeks to acquire cutting-edge U.S. technology and the knowledge that will give birth to the technology of the future,” the senator explained. “The CCP believes that access to such knowledge will accelerate the buildup of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the CCP’s armed wing, and propel China’s state-directed economy ahead of the United States and into the technological frontier where leadership of the global economy of the 21st century will be contested.”
“For this reason, we cannot approach academic exchange with institutions or individuals from the PRC (People’s Republic of China) with stars in our eyes,” he wrote.
Rubio after that directed to several cases of the CCP “successfully penetrating” Florida’s study institutions that have actually been revealed over the last few years. In 2017, the University of Central Florida (UCF) fired an electrical design teacher that was simultaneously employed by a PLA-affiliated university in Chengdu, China, where he established up a lab similar to his very own in Florida. In 2018, a 19-year veteran teacher at UCF got away the United States when university authorities sought to ask him regarding his simultaneous employment at a Chinese school.
In an extra current situation, the U.S Justice Department in February 2021 prosecuted previous University of Florida teacher Yang Lin for ripping off the federal government of $1.75 million in grant financing. A Chinese national, Yang was charged of fraudulently acquiring the government give cash to establish an imaging informatics modern technology while concealing a business he established in China to benefit from that research study, along with his involvement in the Chinese regime’s skill employment initiative through a PLA-affiliated Chinese university.
While acknowledging that “China itself is not the problem,” Rubio stressed that Chinese nationals “face enormous political pressure to advance the CCP’s goals through their professional activities with international partners,” and therefore, scholastic exchange with entities and people from China deserves much greater scrutiny” than collaboration with those of various other countries.
“I respectfully urge you to carefully review and monitor existing research relationships with the PRC under your purview, and to keep these concerns in mind as you consider any future collaboration and the national security implications thereof,” he wrote in conclusion.
Rubio’s caution is in line with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s campaign to shield state tricks from Beijing’s reconnaissance. In July 2021, the Republican governor authorized into legislation 2 bills, with one raising penalties for stealing a trade secret to profit a foreign federal government, as well as the various other calling for colleges and also colleges in his state to disclose a huge quantity of foreign donations and implement additional testing of foreign applicants for research study positions.
“All we are doing today is saying enough is enough,” DeSantis said last year. “We have to start fighting back. Florida is doing that.”
H/T The Epoch Times