Tags: congress | china | spying | legislation

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Chinese Spying

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Chinese Spying
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio (Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 04 June 2018 08:45 AM

Legislators in the House of Representatives are introducing a bill Monday that takes aim at the Chinese government, by requiring Confucius Institutes — a Chinese government-funded program that operates on American university campuses — to register as foreign agents.

The bipartisan bill also requires American intelligence agencies to provide what is expected to be a classified briefing on China's influence operations, both overt and covert, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The bill would also provide calls for greater law enforcement and intelligence protection for Chinese-Americans and visiting Chinese students and faculty that the Chinese government has targeted for harassment and coercion, according to the Free Beacon.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, are the bill's sponsors.

Its introduction Monday marks the 29th anniversary of the Chinese military crackdown on unarmed pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the Free Beacon reported.

In the Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have also taken aim at China.

"We cannot allow an autocratic dictatorship to dominate the global economy and global technology by stealing from us at the expense of the democratic order of the world," Rubio sad in a Senate floor speech, the Free Beacon reported. "Democracies are morally superior to dictatorships."

Cruz introduced a bill May 22 that seeks more efforts from the U.S. government to take on Chinese espionage at American universities.

"The Confucius Institutes are the velvet glove around the iron fist of their campaigns on our campuses," Cruz said, per the Free Beacon. "The American government needs new tools to protect the integrity of our universities and research, and to block academic espionage."

China says the Confucius Institutes are aimed at promoting Chinese language and culture. More than 100 of the institutes are operating in the U.S., the Free Beacon report said.

Texas A&M closed its Confucius Institutes after two congressmen, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, called on the college to do so, The Dallas Morning News reported in April.

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Requiring Confucius Institutes to register as foreign agents, legislators in the House of Representatives are introducing a bill Monday that takes aim at the Chinese government.
congress, china, spying, legislation
Monday, 04 June 2018 08:45 AM
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