American universities and Chinese telecoms

Natalie Johnson of the Washington Free Beacon details new action from Republican lawmakers involving federal education officials.

Nearly a dozen Republican lawmakers are urging the Department of Education to release a comprehensive list of institutions involved in any partnership with Chinese technology giant Huawei amid national security concerns.

In a letter sent Friday to Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, lawmakers raised concerns about ongoing Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. technology and intellectual property on American college campuses.

The letter, publicly released on Monday, serves as a follow-up to a June request by Congress that the department require American universities working with Huawei to hand over all documents and information related to that relationship.

“The Chinese government is playing a long-game, trying to infiltrate our institutions and steal intellectual property under the guise of Chinese telecommunications companies like Huawei,” Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) told the Washington Free Beacon.

“We cannot be naïve to the threat they pose—they will, and likely already have, exploit the openness of our universities for their gain. While I am pleased that the department responded to my original inquiry, there are specific questions that still need answers.”

The 11 signatories, led by Banks, include Republican representatives Austin Scott of Georgia, Dana Rohrabacher of California, Chris Smith and Frank Lobiondo of New Jersey, Mike Conaway of Texas, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Elise Stefanik of New York, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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