September 22, 2020

Pelosi Refuses to Hold China Accountable

She blocked a bill to prevent Beijing from censoring speech on U.S. campuses.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi was recently called out by Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) for dragging her feet on bipartisan legislation. “I regret that Speaker Pelosi has still not scheduled the CONFUCIUS Act for a vote,” Cole said, who introduced the bill back in July. “This isn’t about politics. It’s about holding China accountable, and Speaker Pelosi clearly hasn’t made that a priority.”

Earlier this year, our Arnold Ahlert noted that Beijing had been engaged in a years-long propaganda campaign on more than 100 American college and university campuses under the guise of teaching Chinese language and culture. In 2018, U.S. intelligence warned that these Confucius Institutes were being used as potential “spying outposts.”

Following the warnings, Congress sought to act. As reported by Yuichiro Kakutani, “The CONFUCIUS Act — which stands for Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States — required universities to uphold academic freedom and prevent the exercise of foreign law on American campuses — a key provision, since Beijing often required Confucius Institute teachers to abide by Chinese laws. The bill, introduced by Sen. John Kennedy (R., La.), unanimously passed the Senate in June.”

Senator Kennedy is also wondering what’s behind Pelosi’s delay. “If Speaker Pelosi is blocking the CONFUCIUS Act in the House after every single Senate Democrat supported its passage, it’s worth asking why,” he said. “Do House Democrats and the speaker want to give Xi Jinping more influence over what gets taught on American campuses? Does academic freedom annoy just their caucus in general?”

The irony is that while Pelosi hollers so loudly about the dangers of foreign interference and influence in our elections, she seems loathe to take any real action against countries like China that are most involved in such manipulation. It makes one wonder: Just how beholden to China is Pelosi?

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