by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Collin Anderson of the Washington Free Beacon documents a disturbing partnership involving an elite American public university.
The Biden administration is using taxpayer cash to fund a University of Virginia climate change partnership with a Chinese Communist Party-controlled school that conducts research for China’s military.
President Joe Biden’s National Science Foundation last year awarded more than $130,000 to the University of Virginia to conduct climate change research with Beijing-based Tsinghua University, federal spending disclosures show. Tsinghua University, which counts Chinese president Xi Jinping among its alumni, will work with University of Virginia researchers to chart the global “transition to a low-carbon economy,” according to the grant description.
Tsinghua University is funded by China’s Ministry of Education and maintains a “CCP Committee” that keeps the school “in accordance with President Xi’s hopes.” It also holds “secret-level security credentials” for classified military research, trains students for China’s nuclear weapons program, and has allegedly carried out cyberattacks for the Chinese government, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. It is also one of several Chinese universities under the supervision of the communist nation’s State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense, a CCP agency that works to deepen university involvement in the defense sector.
The National Science Foundation’s decision to fund the partnership with Tsinghua calls into question the foundation’s vetting process as it enjoys a record-high budget. The bipartisan CHIPS Act, which Biden said would help “counter China,” authorized $80 billion in funding for the National Science Foundation to invest in research and development. But in the case of its University of Virginia grant, the foundation found working with the Chinese on climate change “worthy of support.”
For American Foreign Policy Council fellow Michael Sobolik, the foundation’s decision to use “taxpayer money to facilitate research cooperation with a People’s Liberation Army-affiliated university” is “questionable at best.”