“Unequivocally they’re using the money they’re providing the universities to garner influence there”
For years, large donations have flowed into American higher education with no scrutiny. Those days are over.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
UPenn Can’t Explain Mystery Donation From Chinese Company
The University of Pennsylvania pocketed a $3 million donation last year from a mysterious Hong Kong shell company that is owned by a Shanghai businessman with deep ties to Chinese government officials.
The donation from Xu Xeuqing, who has no apparent connection to the University of Pennsylvania and was previously embroiled in a Shanghai public corruption scandal, raises questions about the true source of the money. Documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon show Xeuqing has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
China has poured money into American universities in recent years, in part to buy influence on campuses, experts say. The donation comes as federal prosecutors have increased scrutiny on the Chinese government’s influence-buying and espionage operations at American universities.
“Unequivocally they’re using the money they’re providing the universities to garner influence there,” said Ben Freeman, the director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy. “It’s not the sole motive, but it’s one of a variety of motives.”
Foreign money has poured into the school over the past few years with a significant portion coming from China. The Ivy League school received $61 million in gifts and contracts from China between March 2017 and the end of 2019; over the previous four year period, it took in just $19 million from Chinese donors.
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