CCP takes formal administrative control of China’s universities; What about America’s?

by WorldTribune Staff, January 22, 2024

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken direct control of the country’s university’s, according to a Radio Free Asia report.

“While the ruling party already has branches and committees embedded in universities and other academic institutions, commentators said it has never actually merged itself with administrative structures before, not even during the political turmoil of the Cultural Revolution,” the Jan. 18 report said.

Graduates of Wuhan University pose for photos in front of an image commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party in Wuhan on June 23, 2021. / AFP

The CCP’s committee at Beijing’s Tsinghua University issued a notice on Jan. 14 announcing that its office had merged with the office of the university president to form a new Party Committee Office that would run the school.

The nationwide movement is being dubbed, “one institution, two brands.”

Similar changes have taken place at major universities across China, including Shanghai Jiaotong University, Southwest Jiaotong University, Sichuan University and Nanjing University, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Harbin Engineering University, Nanjing University of Science and Technology and Fuzhou University, among others, according to a review of their official websites by Radio Free Asia Mandarin.

Inquiring minds want to know if U.S. universities are next, given documented CCP influence on multiple American campuses?

Radio Free Asia interview an alumnus of Guizhou University, who gave only the surname Chen for fear of reprisals, who said that the mergers were unprecedented, and that the Communist Party and university administration were run out of separate offices even during the political turmoil of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, when he was a student.

“Back then, the party office was the party office, the school office was the school office, and academic and administrative affairs were all the preserve of the school office,” Chen said.

“Each department had a party branch, and the party office handled the development of party members by the party branches in each department, making ideological reports, developing party members or convening party committee meetings,” he said. “Now the two offices are integrated into one.”

Veteran political journalist Gao Yu confirmed Chen’s account.

“I really didn’t expect that they would merge like this, turning two brands into one, under the unified leadership of the party,” Gao said. “Now, the whole university must respond to education by the party and integrate politics into the core curriculum.”

“It’s the first time this has happened since the founding of the People’s Republic of China,” Gao added.

While U.S. universities are, well, American they have over recent decades cultivated warm ties with Chinese influence operations in exchange for honoraria, grants and junkets.

Writing for in September of last year, Laurence F Sanford noted: “American universities openly welcome the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). After all, many universities are controlled by Marxist professors who welcome fellow comrades. Also welcome are the millions of dollars the CCP funnels to the universities to gain influence and access to elite American leaders.”

Chinese entities (all organizations in China are controlled by the CCP) entered into $120 million worth of contracts with American universities in 2021. The University of Houston, with its engineering programs, led the pack with $32 million, followed by the University of Illinois, MIT, and Harvard. The contracts were in the fields of engineering or science, Sanford wrote.

“The CCP is waging ‘unrestricted warfare’ on the U.S. and conducts gray zone influencing operations in universities,” Sanford added.

In January of 2018, reported that 100 U.S. campuses were taking Chinese government funds for “Confucius Institutes.”

Li Changchun, a member of China’s Politburo standing committee, said in a 2011: “The Confucius Institute is an appealing brand for expanding our culture abroad. It has made an important contribution toward improving our soft power. The ‘Confucius’ brand has a natural attractiveness. Using the excuse of teaching Chinese language, everything looks reasonable and logical.”

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