It has taken the “entire free world a long time to understand the trajectory that China is on today,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in remarks at the Georgia Institute for Technology.
For a long time, many thought that by trading and engaging with China that the Chinese Communist Party would eventually embrace economic and political freedom and thus pose less of risk to freedom around the world, explained Secretary Pompeo:
“Instead, the Chinese communists used the wealth that was created by this to tighten their grip on power, their grip on power over the Chinese people, and to build a high-tech repressive state like the world has never seen.”
“The Chinese Communist Party knows it is can never match [American] innovation,” declared Secretary Pompeo. That’s why the CCP has been particularly active on American college campuses in an effort to exert influence through funding and steal valuable research:
“There are many American scholars – often doing research funded by American taxpayers – that have been lured into the Chinese Communist Party’s talent recruitment programs. The CCP pays them what is for them a fortune to do research related to their current fields for, or in, China – and then often uses the fruits of their brainpower to build its military strength.”
Some of the CCP’s biggest victims on campuses are innocent Chinese nationals. Some students from China at American universities live in fear that their families back home will be interrogated if they openly discuss topics deemed controversial or sensitive by the CCP while enrolled at American universities.
Secretary Pompeo also urged researchers to be vigilant against fraud and theft and to reject CCP funding. “We cannot allow this tyrannical regime [CCP] to steal our [innovations], to build their military might and brainwash our people, or buy off our institutions to help them cover up these activities,” declared Secretary Pompeo. He urged American university administrators to close Confucius Institutes and investigate what so-called student groups backed by the CCP are actually up to on their campuses.
Moreover, American students need to courageously stand up for free speech for themselves and their Chinese counterparts on their campuses.
“Let’s carry forward a banner of freedom to defend our schools, what these institutions were built upon,” urged Secretary Pompeo. “It will aid our national security. And from the central threat of our time, the Chinese Communist Party.”