U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), along with Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this week inquiring why federal funds were going to schools with alleged connections to the Communist Chinese government.
According to the letter, Confucius Institutes located on college campuses "has long raised serious concerns" about the Chinese government influencing and infiltrating those colleges.
Currently, there are two Confucius Institutes locations in Alabama: one at Troy University in Troy and one at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. Alabama A&M announced last year that the Confucius Institute on its campus would close. However, the National Association of Scholars website reports as of June 21, it is unclear when the Alabama A&M location is slated for closure.
The 2019 and the 2021 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) prohibit Department of Defense (DoD) funding from going to schools with Confucius Institutes, as noted in the July 25 letter.
"Most notably, Section 1091 of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibits Department of Defense (DoD) funding for Chinese language instruction provided by a Confucius Institute, and Section 1062 of the FY2021 NDAA went a step further by prohibiting DoD funding for any institution of higher education that hosts a Confucius Institute after October 1, 2023. These provisions pressured most American universities to close Confucius Institutes on their campuses."
Rogers' signature on the letter is notable because he is the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee and is in line to be the committee's chairman, should Republicans regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives after this year's midterm elections.
The Republicans' letter asks if colleges that have since closed their Confucius Institutes have reopened the facilities under another banner with potential ties to the Chinese government. It also asks if progress has been tracked on the closures of the facilities and how the DoD intends to enforce Section 1062 of the 2021 NDAA.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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