A former National Security Council member is sounding the alarm on communist China’s efforts to infiltrate American institutions.
U.S. officials on Thursday shared concerns that China may have compromised hundreds of federally funded scientists dispersed at colleges and universities across the country.
More than 500 federally funded scientists are under investigation, the National Institutes of Health revealed.
Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy and former NSC chief of staff under President Trump, said the government needs to take a much more aggressive approach in identifying and rooting out Chinese influence within U.S. academia.
“We have to have a huge study into what is going on here,” Fleitz said in an interview with Fox News. “I don’t think the government understands how widespread this threat is and I don’t think academics are reporting what they know.”
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NIH officials told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that they are fighting to keep up with large-scale Chinese efforts to corrupt American researchers and steal intellectual property that scientists hope will lead to biomedical advances, but claimed “the workload” has strained the agency, which is “dealing with a very large number of cases.”
Fleitz said he believes political interests within the U.S. may be affecting the amount of national attention this issue receives.
“The mainstream media and the left are just not serious about national security,” he argued. “Frankly, concerning certain critical technologies, let’s say nuclear and arms technologies, we should not be letting Chinese nationals anywhere near these fields.”
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“And this this isn’t hatred or xenophobia,” Fleitz continued, “It’s the fact that we know whoever China lets come here is working for the Chinese Communist Party.”
Over the past decade, the FBI has issued a number of warnings to American students studying in China about the dangers of being recruited by Chinese intelligence. According to Fleitz, the Biden administration “seems quite far from issuing such a sensible warning.”
“If the government doesn’t recognize the threat, the academic institutions and students are not going to recognize the threat,” urged Fleitz.
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“The Chinese Communist Party is ruthless. They know we have this vulnerability and they know with money they can get their experts into these universities no questions asked,” he warned.
“Joe Biden says that China is a competitor — no, China is an adversary, maybe an enemy.”