Time to roll up China’s spy network—starting with our schools.
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The Trump White House has already clamped down with tariffs and limits on technology, the first hitting China’s export of goods and the second going after their ability to export surveillance.
Now the administration is widely targeting Chinese students and professors in the US.
Justified on the basis of retaliation alone, as China wiped out our spy network in-country, the move is also long overdue. Even Trump’s foes at the FBI know China has active spying operations in each of the 50 states and has spread their nationals through our university system.
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Though not quite a Red Scare as in days of old, it’s known that China’s on-campus Confucius Institutes are supported and spread by Beijing to keep its subjects abroad from getting too Western, while expanding their influence here.
So far several professors have already been booted out of American colleges for their ties.
And while Chinese students in the US are frequently saving face because they can’t get into ruthlessly competitive Chinese schools, many hail from influential Party families… and at the high end, graduate students in sensitive STEM fields can rank among the country’s most strategically valuable.
Even with Trump’s new crackdown, however, the pace of Chinese admissions to US schools has only been slowed, not stopped, much less reversed.
American colleges, for their part, see Chinese admissions as a gravy train necessary to keep their bloated staff of home grown anti-American administrators and deans on payroll… and their course lists swollen with garbage “studies” courses built to brainwash kids into hating their country.
So Trump is on the right track tightening visas, pumping the brakes on approvals, and ejecting visitors working as exploits against our national interest. But he needs to do more.
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Last year there were more than 350,000 Chinese nationals studying in the US. The more China fights to resist the tariffs Trump is using to force them to play fair, the more those hundreds of thousands of nationals become a national security problem.
Beijing is committed to wringing as much secret info out of the US as possible… especially under cover of shiny, happy globalism, which the Ivory Tower eats up like the endless cash it raises from foreigners abroad.
China knows that it’s still more dependent on the US for technology than it wants to be. Beijing wants researchers in America to help get the goods—the better to spread their own next generation systems around the world.
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The Chinese want to make China great again… at our expense.
Our response should be to teach them a lesson or two.