Gonzalez Reintroduces CONFUCIUS Act Targeting the Chinese Government’s Influence on College Campuses
Washington, D.C. , April 16, 2021
Today Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), who served as a member of the House China Task Force, reintroduced his Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States Act (CONFUCIUS Act), legislation designed to target and address concerns over the Chinese government’s influence on college campuses. This is companion legislation to a bill introduced by Senator Kennedy (R-LA) in the United States Senate.
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses the greatest threat to American sovereignty,” Gonzalez said. “From their rampant theft of American intellectual property, to their egregious acts of genocide in Xinjiang, it is clear that we must pursue a whole of government approach in holding the CCP accountable. I am proud to reintroduce this bill to target the CCP’s attempts to steal American research and innovation and coerce our colleges and universities. I stand committed to protecting our American way of life from the malice of the CCP.”
In Fiscal Year 2021’s bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a portion of this bill was included that prohibited Department of Defense dollars from going to universities that host Confucius Institutes. The FY21 NDAA became law on January 1, 2021.
Gonzalez first introduced this bill in the 116th Congress. The bill would seek to limit the influence of Confucius Institutes – cultural and language exchange programs at American universities funded by the Chinese government – by barring Department of Education funds from going to any college or university that does not comply with the provisions of the bill. This would not include funding disbursed to students, such as Pell grants. Similar legislation has already passed the United States Senate this year.
Many lawmakers, scholars, and college organizations have issued reports criticizing Confucius Institutes for their close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and have called for their removal from American college campuses.