China continues to exploit US universities to bolster military modernization: Report

Beijing: China continues to use the United States universities system to collect information to bolster its nuclear and cyber-espionage programs, according to a media report.

A report released on Thursday by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank found that China is using its existing relationships with US universities to collect information and technological know-how “to achieve Chinese military dominance,” Fox News reported.

“China’s civilian university system plays a major role in China’s military-industrial complex, including its nuclear and cyber-espionage programs,” the report found.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has “ordered” civilian universities and all students to comply with its military-civil fusion strategy to integrate military, civilian and commercial investments to “advance China’s interest,” Fox News reported.

According to the report, there are 34 US universities that continue to work with Confucius Institutes (CI), which are CCP sponsored programs intended to promote educational and cultural ties worldwide.

The report found that four US universities, including Stanford University, the University of California in Santa Barbara, the University of Utah and Pacific Lutheran University in Washington, have open partnerships with Chinese universities that have been flagged as allegedly supporting China’s nuclear program, Fox News reported.

A spokesperson for the University of Utah said it would be ending its partnership with the Confucius Institute in June 2023 when their contract is set to terminate, adding that, “We haven’t had any concerns about the U’s institute being a hub for espionage or propaganda.”

“The institute has played an important role in increasing linguistic and cultural literacy about China among Utahns,” Chris Nelson, interim Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for the university told Fox News.

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