tv Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee Hearing on Chinese Influence on U.S.... CSPAN March 6, 2019 5:07am-6:57am EST
capitol hill to testify on motor security and other issues. that is live at to the clock a.m. eastern. then a hearing on sexual assault in the military focused on response and prevention. also, on c-span 3, and the free c-span radio app. >> a senate homeland some committee own investigations is looking into the impact of the chinese government on the u.s. education system. the chinese government has invested in more than 100 confucius institutes located on campuses across the u.s. witnesses from the state and education department testify at this hearing.
>> welcome senator carver. spirit inc. you mister chairman. >> hi witnesses, welcome. last night senator carver and i issued a report detailing concerns about the impact of the u.s. is education system by china, and the report is a result of an eight month investigation that details our concerns focused on the china confucius institutes.
based on our findings we are here to focus on a couple of issues, transparency, and reciprocity. transparency in how american colleges and universities manage confucius institutes, which are controlled, funded, mostly staffed by the chinese government and aim to promote chinese interest and language and culture on u.s. campuses. lack of reciprocity and how the chinese do not permit state departments in china. a report how details in china known for their one-sided dealings in trade sometimes use similar tactics in the unfair treatment of simbra schools and the state department in china. let me be clear i support cultural exchange. i support cultural exchanges with china and other international exchanges more broadly. i am for engagement, but there must be reciprocity, and there
must be appropriate engagement without the chinese government determining what is said and done on u.s. campuses. the law must be followed and that is why transparency is so important. u.s. officials have expressed concerns about their interference and recently the fbi assistant director testify before the senate judiciary committee that the institutes are not strictly a cultural institute, but they are ultimately beholden to the chinese government. the state department has labeled confucius institutes china's most prominent soft power platform. our education groups have expressed concerns. the american association of university professors and many have recommended that how that u.s. schools change in managing confucius institutes or discontinuing them all together. we know the institutes exist as one part of the chinese broader and long-term strategy, but
china has invested significantly in them and giving more than $158 million to u.s. school since 2006. that is over 12 years, and china have also opened or than 500 confucius classrooms, expanding the confucius classroom program is a priority to them. a document obtained by the subcommittee details a plan to expand the classes by getting the polished support from the state government, with a particular emphasis on access to the support from school district superintendents and principals. over the last eight months we interviewed u.s. officials and teachers, and we reviewed tens of thousands of pages of contacts and financial records and other internal documents more than 100 u.s. schools that was either active or opposed to confucius institutes. more than 10 u.s. schools announced they would be discontinuing their confucius
institutes. we found that the chinese funding for confucius institutes comes with strings attached, strengths that can compromise and -- academic freedom. the chinese government approves all speakers and teachers at the u.s. confucius institutes. chinese teachers signed contract with the chinese government pledging they will follow chinese law and conscientiously safeguard the national interest of china. some schools contractually agree that both chinese and u.s. laws will apply to the confucius institutes on u.s. school campuses. think about that for second. these are american universities agreeing to -- the chinese law on their own campuses. as such, numerous u.s. school officials told the subcommittee that confucius institutes was not the place to discuss topics like the independence of taiwan.
simply put as one u.s. school administrator told us, you know what you are getting when something is funded by the chinese government. investigators from the general accountability office also spoke with u.s. school officials who acknowledge that hosting a confuse event can limit activities with china, and elsewhere on campus. in response to the growing popular of the confucius institutes, u.s. state department is to do their own policy in china, and the chinese government effectively shut it down. since 2010 the state department has provided $1.5 million in grant funding for 29 cultural centers in china. to the program a u.s. school would part with the chinese school to set up a cultural center which would enable chinese students to better understand u.s. culture. the chinese government stifle the program from the start and seven of the 29th never opened.
the ones that did open found they needed permission from the chinese partner school sometimes including the local chinese communist party official to even hold an event. eventually the state department stop funding the program altogether. while the state department is mostly known for their overseas diplomacy effort, it has oversight responsibilities here in the united states. they conduct field site reviews so that the four nationals who have come here are here for the stated reason. while there is roughly 100 confucius institutes again at colleges and institutes, the state department says hold it field site reviews and only two and they found serious problems that both of those schools. the state revoke more than 30 visas who was only supposed be working at the university that sponsored the visa, but was teaching at confucius classrooms. the state discovered evidence of fraudulent paperwork that
was an attempt to deceive the investigators. moreover the state told us they do not collect these information specifically related to confucius institutes and we don't know how many teachers they are or where they are. our investigation also did five failures at the department of education that contribute to it like -- lack of transparency. under law if the u.s. school receives more than $250,000 from a single point source in one year, it is required to report that data to the department of education which in turn publishes it. our investigation found that nearly 70% of the schools that should have reported receiving funds from a institute from china did not. with a field report a foreign gift, the department of justice can force a school to comply but only at the request of the secretary of education. they have never referred this case or these types of cases to the department of justice, not
once. they have not issued any guidance since october 2004, the same year that china opened the first confucius institute. it is time for new guidance. our investigation found the schools in the united states have a level access that the chinese government refuses to provide to the united states. again, this brings back to our to two points. transparency and reciprocity. full transparency as to how the confucius institutes operate and confucius institutes should not continue in the u.s. in my view. with that i turn to the senator for his opening statements. >> i want to thank you for your attention on this issue and i want to thank our staff of both the minority and majority side with a bipartisan work that went into this hearing. i am going to go off script for just a minute if i could, and put this hearing in context.
early in my life i was unable flight officer doing tours in southeast asia and there is a names on the lincoln memorial that i run by every now and then, and when i go by i brush my fingers across the people i served with. i led a congressional delegation in 1991 to cambodia to find out what happened to thousands of mias and to see if there's a way to get on a roadmap to normalize relations between that u.s. and the vietnamese. we had an incredible, incredible, and had a very emotional meeting with a brand-new leader of vietnam. it led to putting us on the roadmap to normalize relations. one the members about
delegation after became the first u.s. investor to vietnam, and when it was all over, guys worked almost 3 years ago in april, president obama invited john kerry, john mccain, and myself to go back with him to vietnam to reconfirm our improving relations and expand our trade relations, and our defense and military cooperation with vietnam, the country that killed 50,000 of our men and women and is suggested by this wall i go along beside every now and then. one of the things is that the u.s. ambassador and this was three years ago and said i have two popular opinion polls we are taking of the vietnamese people. he said one of them taken by a group other than the united states found that 95% of the
vietnamese have a positive opinion toward the united states, higher than any other nation. we commission our own survey and found that 90% of the vietnam and vietnamese people had a positive opinion, and they like us more than we like us. think about that. the reason why i say that, and i don't know if my colleagues went to munich, but college and therefore big security meeting and we had to reaffirm our allegiance to nato, and it was hosted in munich, and in world war ii, we lost hundreds of thousands of troops because of that country and their leaders. today, they are one of our best allies. the same situation with japan. i think it is important to remember that the folks who might be a enemy at one point in our history can turn out to be our best friends. it is important that we try to make sure that to our relationship with china, that
it turns out good for them and us. i think the point that our chairman makes is reciprocity, and probably the most important element to take away. the idea that they are trying to share with us their culture, their language, i think that is great as this is a huge country but we should be basically having the opportunity to do the same thing. now i'm back on script. this only take about an hour. know it won't. anyhow, the worst that i know, i know thank you, and i know how to say happy new year. that is pretty much, and if i was speaking chinese, but unfortunately for you it is not that short. two years ago the russian government lost an unprecedented attack on our country using this information in stolen emails, they took
advantage of the american growing use of social media, in an attempt to start conflict and influence in the 2016 election by boosting the campaign of one candidate by also denigrating the candidacy of another. today's reports are emerging that this information campaign targeting a number of democrats seeking to run against president donald trump have already begun. given what our country has been through in recent years, we are prepared to grapple with in 2020 that we beat diligent in combating foreign efforts to influence american public opinion regardless of where they originate. today we will be examining the quiet efforts by the chinese government to improve the image in the minds of americans. china opened his first confucius institute outside of asia i think in the u.s. about 15 years ago, and they did at that university of maryland.
it has since opened 500 institutes in this country. in addition half of the 1000 confucius classrooms that runs through is confucius institutes are in primary and secondary schools. activity at the individual confucius institutes and our staff visited, they have varied quite a bit. in one school i am told the chinese visitors in the confucius institutes perform research and work as teaching assistants in foreign credit classes, which we could all benefit from. at other schools the chinese visitors taught more informal noncredit classes to both college students and members of the community. these classes focused on everything from topics like
chinese cooking which we enjoy and chinese art, which a lot of us enjoyed. a handful of schools, confucius staff focus almost exclusively on placing visiting language teachers in schools in the area. at all of the schools, the staff seems to focus a significant time on events like chinese new year parties, and i have been to a few of those and they are fun. at best we can determine these institutes that around the country do not appear to be overzealous by the chinese communist party to spread pro- china or anti-american propaganda. there is often no no evidence that we have uncovered there are chinese espionage efforts or other activities. nonetheless we need to be mindful of the story told by these confucius institutes is coming from. fbi directors have been
concerned about confucius institutes because they was conceived and are funded by a chinese government that has a much different worldwide view than ours. the $158 million that the chinese spent on confucius institutes in the united states come from a government that routinely will stifle free speech, stifles debate, stifles dissent in his own country. it is a government that monitors and jails minorities and the violent history of oppression it has. it is also a government that routinely targets us to hacking and industrial espionage and threatens taiwan and other close allies in asia, and i would add it is a country that basically has tried to block and keep other ships including our naval vessels out of the south china sea and places i used to operate.
participants at confucius institutes's sponsored activities, and we will not get the full story on these issues because of the contract, the u.s. schools of science, with the chinese government, chinese issues can veto programming they don't like. the staff sent from china to run the institutes are prohibited under their individual contract doing anything detrimental to national interests. in spite of my concern about the confucius institutes and the goals of china for them, i welcome as i may have incurred earlier, greater opportunities for americans to learn more about china, visit the country, and speak mandarin. i want the chinese citizens to visit here and learn more about our language and culture as well. i said not long ago, that one of the things i said to a bunch of the chinese that we met with is that there is more that unites us than divides us, and
figure out how to focus more on the former and less on that letter. data indicate as many as 400 million people in china are attempting to learn english and according to a study, more than 90% of european primary and secondary school students are learning a foreign language. at the same time only 20% of american students are working to learn another language. we need to do better than that at the time when the world is getting smaller and the country is growing more diverse and so many american jobs rely on global trade, it is in the best interest of our nation to learn a foreign language, and that includes mandarin. do the extent of the demand in our country for chinese education, the part that we lease recommend to the number of steps, to change their relationship with the chinese government with free speech and
free debate and academic freedom on their campuses. in closing, we also make recommendations to the u.s. department of education to ensure that confucius institutes are operating within the law. we call on the chinese to stop blocking our efforts in cultural outreach in the country. as i stated earlier, it is crucial that we continue to be diligent to influence public opinion in our country, but if we take any of the lessons away from the hearing today i hope that in order to preserve our economic competitiveness, to protect our national security, need to make certain that our students are learning about other cultures and studying mandarin and other key languages. welcome. thank you. i am sorry it took so long.
said that one of the things i mentioned to my former colleague about the hearing today is that he said he would be interested in falling up and could probably give us some good insight and more to those. thank you so much. >> thank you my friend for partnering on this report as always your staff, as you probably have noticed there is not a lot of bipartisanship here on capitol hill, and we keep this committee as nonpartisan as possible and as a result we have done some pretty good work that has resulted in pretty good legislation as we did today. i would like to now introduce our panel of witnesses, walter douglas is the deputy assistant secretary for the bureau of east asian affairs.
it is the custom of this subcommittee to swear in witnesses so at this time i would like to ask you to please stand and raise your right hand. these were the testimony you are about to give before the subcommittee is a truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you guide. thank you. please be seated. that the record reflect the witnesses all answered in the affirmative, and your written testimony ladies and gentlemen will be considered to be part of the record, so you don't need to give your entire statement. we would ask that you limit your oral testimony to five minutes and we'll have a chance for a real dialogue after all testimony. >> chairman portman and members of the subcommittee, i am pleased to be here today to discuss the work on chinese involvement in u.s. higher education. by testimony summarizes two gao
reports. one of them is issued in august 2016 on u.s. universities operating in china. i will start by discussing our observations on the 96 confucius institutes operating on u.s. college campuses. my overall message is that confucius institutes agreements very in key areas and stakeholders identify opportunities to improve those agreements. it examined the agreements between u.s. universities, we have found there are a variety of issues that can be addressed. regarding the affability of school policies, we found that about one third contained language that applied u.s. policies to the operation of the confucius institute. regarding the public availability of the agreement, we found that only approximately half contain language that made the agreement confidential or limited the ability of either party to release the agreement.
regarding funding, we found that startup funds are generally provided, and teaching material. the u.s. schools generally provide reporting like campus space and staff to help manage the confucius institutes. regarding teachers, we found that confucius institute teacher from china taught a mix of both credit bearing and noncredit courses at different schools. however none of our 10 case study schools use the materials in their credit bearing class. we also gathered suggestions for improving the confucius institutes from school officials, researchers, and others. they suggest improvement into two main areas. first they suggested improving the language of the agreement specifically several people suggested removing the confidentiality language from the agreement. also making them available online in order to dispel any
questions or concerns about what they contain. in addition, some school officials, researchers and others suggested agreement should include even stronger language, making it clear that the u.s. school has ultimate decision making authority when it came to operating the confucius institute. second, they suggested improvements in the operation of the institute. for example, some school officials suggested to us that confucius institute teacher should not teach credit bearing courses on classes, even if they was using the curriculum that have been developed by the u.s. schools. in addition some officials suggested that confucius institutes should choose to organize events on topics that are sensitive to china in order to demonstrate that neither the school or the institute is subject to undue chinese influence. moving to our 2016 report on u.s. universe operating in china, mikey message is that
u.s. universities to emphasize academic freedom but face a variety of challenges. at the time of our review 12 u.s. universities was operating in china. we found they did include a variety of protections for academic freedom. for example one universities agreement stated that everybody at the institution in china will have unlimited freedom of expression and inquiry and would not be restricted in the selection of research. we also interviewed more than 130 faculty and students who generally reported that academic freedom and not been restricted for them and they could study and discuss any topic. however, we identified two key challenges for learning universities in china. first, fewer than half the university that we reviewed had uncensored internet access. students and faculty totals that haven't restricted access to the internet prohibited both
are teaching and research. second, administrators, faculty, and students rick that spent represent more than half of the university gave examples of self censorship. for example an administrator one university suggested it was advisable as a guest of china to refrain from insulting china. another administrator noted that the university advises teachers to avoid discussing sensitive subjects in the classes. chairman portman, and members of the subcommittee, that concludes my prepare statement and i look forward to your questions. >> chairman portman, and members of the subcommittee, thank you for your invitation to discuss the state department diplomacy efforts in china. u.s. diplomats carry out a range of activities in china and this includes both policy related messaging as well as cultural and educational exchanges.
our diplomats do this work in spite of restricted by chinese authorities which i will describe in more detail later in the statement. public the policy in china is conducted through our six post there. we have a total of 110 staff including chinese speaking diplomats and local employees as well as a budget of $31 million to support public diplomacy functions. by large chinese citizens welcome public diplomacy, but the chinese government impedes access to some segments of chinese society including academic settings. to give a recent example, the u.s. investor was scheduled to speak at a chinese university campus. the visit was canceled just two days notice. this is one of many cases of unexplained and sudden cancellations experienced by u.s. diplomats attempting to visit universities. we have seen the obstruction of programs related to the u.s. government-funded cultural centers. the american cultural center grant program and until it was
discontinued in 2018, the program awarded a total of about $5 million in grants range from $100,000 to $110,000 and the scratch was given to 29 university to establish american cultural centers on chinese university campuses. while the program had many successes, chinese forces started unduly restricting the activities of our center. in 2016, severe restriction came into effect in some of the sinners was forced to close down. there is three remaining universities that are conducting previously funded american cultural center activities, with they will conclude by the summer of 2019. these restrictions and american cultural centers stand in stark contrast to the ability of confucius institutes to operate free from government obstruction in the united states. in 2017, the u.s. embassy in beijing decided to discontinue funding for the american
cultural center program and the decision was solidified in a recommendation from the department of inspector general. scholars often permitted -- prohibited from engaging with americans. when babies do take place chinese authorities require the participants to submit detailed reports of their conversations. this precious -- pressures us to be cautious. as result, the ability of u.s. diplomats to engage with or near chinese people is stifled and in contrast, studies diplomats here in the united states regularly address public audiences read from obstruction by the american government including university campuses. u.s. government-funded exchange programs on the way we engage the next generation of chinese leaders and opinion makers. international leadership programs has between 120-150 liters each year that are
brought to the united states for three weeks study tours. in other countries authorities force about 20% of the candidates to withdraw their participation at the last minute. this is yet another avenue that with the chinese government limits who can have access to information about the united states. the state department takes notice when incidents like this take place. and a 60 month period, there is more than 150 instances involving permission to meet an official, cancellation of an event, withdrawal of a chinese participant from u.s. government funded exchange program, or intimidation. we continually convey to the chinese government that we expect reciprocal access for the programs in china. in spite of these restrictions, we work to reach the broader chinese public through traditional media and social media. in particular the meta-post in china have a robust social media presence and the an
average of more than three point mean chinese people each day. we were see thousand likes and comments showing the chinese public eagerness to engage in discussion. but similar to the restrictions placed on direct campus engagement, our social media platforms in china experience citizenship several times a week. the stanza start contrast to the unhindered use of social media enjoyed by the embassy of china and washington dc which lost their facebook page over year ago. we contently convey to the chinese government that the u.s. expects reciprocity in the use of social media. the department welcomes, and as noted in the report, the public diplomacy efforts in china have indeed experienced restrictions, which presents a challenge, not an insurmountable one. the state department continues to work toward reaching or near chinese citizens in promoting
american values. thank you mister chairman and i look for to answering your questions and other members of the subcommittee. >> members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. my testimony will focus on the state department's responsibility to regulate and monitor the participation of chinese nationals in the exchange visitor program. this program makes it possible each year for over 300,000 exchange visitors from nearly 200 countries and territories to travel to the united states to participate in educational and cultural exchanges. as mandated by congress, the cultural affairs works to advance foreign policy by building friendly peaceful relations through exchange programs that strengthen national security, they put u.s. international leadership and provide a broad range of benefits.
the exchange programs are funded through annual congressional appropriations. in addition to these the barrel overseas visitor programs which are carried out by nearly 1500 public and private entities that the state department designates as sponsors. no appropriated funds are spent on these programs. the office of the private secretary exchange is sponsored with implementing and enforcing federal regulations that govern all aspects of the exchange visitor program. entity seeking designation must apply separately for authority to conduct programs in one or more of the private sector categories of exchange. exchange visitors from china comprise approximately 11% of the more than 300 exchange visitors from around the world. chinese visitors are one element of chinese anticipation
in the exchange visitor program. confucius institutes are typically set up as collaborations between the u.s. and chinese university. the state department does not have a role in the creation or funding of confucius institutes. our responsibility begins when a u.s. college or university that is a designated sponsor places an exchange visitor in a row that is related to a confucius institute. as part of our routine sponsor monitoring, the office of private sector exchange learned in 2012 the number of chinese exchange visitors participating in the research scholar category was inappropriately placed at k -12 schools as language teachers. the department issued a guidance director to potentially affect the sponsor providing procedures for regular rising the program status of exchange visitors was under the incorrect category. the guidance directive clarify that exchange visitors in one
of that university-based academic categories cannot serve as a primary teacher for k -12 students, activities that more appropriately belong in the teacher category. follow-up review since 2012 is shown that in some instances chinese exchange visitors continue, and the office of private secretary exchange has father focused their monitoring efforts in taking steps to improve compliance. in november 2017, the office wrote to the nearly 1000 college and university sponsored reminding them of the 2012 goddess directive and we have conducted meet and greets with 25 academic program sponsors affiliated with institutes and carried out five more targeted field site reviews and electronic site reviews. we have scheduled four field site reviews and will conduct additional electronic reviews. this effort has prioritized institutions with potential for
category confusion, where it appears to be the greatest. two of the previous field site reviews and two of the electronic reviews resulted in the issuance of letters of concern to the sponsors documenting areas of regulatory vulnerability and encouraging them to modify the program to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. where k -12 teaching associated with confucius institutes are problematic, these university sponsors have ceased those activities based on our outreach to them. in two cases the office of private sector exchange worked closely with the bureau of consular affairs which revoke the visas of exchange visitors who have entered the united states to teach, but not to a sponsor designated category. the department of state takes seriously the oversight responsibility of the exchange visitor program, and the obligation to monitor designated sponsors for possible violations of the regulation.
we continue to refine our process to improve regulatory compliance of all designated sponsors including those that work with confucius institutes. mister chairman, i thank you for your attention to the critical issues of chinese interference in u.s. education, and the bureau of educational and cultural affairs stands ready to cooperate with the ongoing review of this matter and i'm happy to answer any questions you might have. >> chairman portman, and all, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. as retired army brigadier general and former college president, and former chief of war plans in the pentagon, i understand the importance of ensuring that our colleges and universities remain free from foreign influence, and this concern serviced about 30 years ago and consequently in 1986,
congress amended the higher education act of 1965 to require institutions to disclose gifts from and contracts with foreign sources. in your letter of instruction and invitation you noted your intent to examine the confucius institutes and the impact of the chinese government on the u.s. education's system. you asked me to address for the gift reporting and i'm pleased to respond on both issues. before addressing the confucius institute, i will provide information on the foreign gift and contract disclosure requirements. the law requires that two year and four year granting institution expose from and contract with a foreign source in the amount of a quarter of $1 million or more in one year. also, any institution owned by
or controlled by a foreign source must disclose this information. since these requirements have been in place, the department has issued two colleague letters, one in 1995 and one in 2004 to clarify these issues and provide instructions for submitting reports. these requirements are also included in the federal student aid handbook. there are approximately 3700 institutes in the united states that are covered by the requirements. most recently fewer than 3% of those institutions reported receiving foreign gifts in excess of a quarter of $1 million from a single source or country. there is limitations to the report since the data is self- reported. some colleges and universities have independent but affiliated nonprofit research endowment and alumni foundations which deliver contracts and gifts.
it is unclear which school reports foreign gifts that are channeled through these foundations since the statute does not reference him. the required information that they department uses at the same electronic system is schools use to apply for federal student aid. the system reminds and prompts institutions to provide the required information. since 2012, the department has made these reports available on the federal student aid website in the interest of transparency. the information is updated twice a year. during the most recent school year, 91 institutions reported receiving gifts of over 1.3 billion dollars in gifts and contracts from sources in 105 countries. china ranked first in the amount with about $222 million
in gifts and contracts. this constituted about 70% of the total. regarding the impact of the chinese government on confucius institutes of higher education, we recognize this is a concern. as you know confucius institutes are partnerships between the chinese government and u.s. colleges and universities, each of which has her own agreement. recently as you know a number of these institutions have terminated their agreements. we fully understand and share your concern about the need to keep foreign interest from compromising the academic integrity of american colleges and universities while respecting the importance of institutional economy and academic freedom. as your subcommittee reviews the issues presented by the confucius institute, the chinese government, and foreign
gifts and contracts were college universities, the department stands ready to work with you on the way forward. :you for the opportunity to testify today, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, and thanks to all the witnesses and we look forward to the dialogue and i will be here for the entire hearing and i see some of my colleagues have arrived that have complex, so i'm going to delay my questions, and i will first turn to senator carpenter. >> let me yield to senator hassan. in that case, i am not going to yield. i don't like this guy. event thank you mister chairman so much. i certainly want to think the chairman for hosting this important hearing on the impact of the nation's education system
the chinese may be having, and think our witnesses for being here today. this hearing is certainly consistent, with our bipartisan work in the committee, particularly as the principal oversight committee for the u.s. senate, and house seriously all of us take the oversight function, so in that vein, i have a question outside of the scope of this hearing, but one that is incredibly important for the oversight of the administration. that's the deputy secretary vance? is ace. on january third 2019, the purpose of education acting inspector general sandra bruce received a letter from you urging her, and i quote, reconsider any plans that her office might have to review a department of education decision. the letter has just been handed to you. is that your signature at the bottom? >> yes, it is. >> deputy secretary, did
secretary or designee or any employee of the white house direct you to send that letter? >> no, senator, they did not. >> so you just did that on your own? >> i've worked with the staff and the chief of staff, and composing that letter. >> as you are aware, the subject of the education department's decision being reviewed by the acting inspector general was the accrediting council for independent colleges and schools, a cics, it's a major creditor for the for-profit colleges, did you, secretary divorce, or designee communicate with a cics, or anyone acting on their behalf, regarding the investigation? >> we did not. >> as mentioned, your letter was sent on january 3, on january 31, ms. bruce was notified that she was being replaced at acting inspector general by the department's general counsel, a decision that was later reversed under pressure, the department has confirmed that decision to replace ms. bruce was initially recommended by the department,
not the white house. did you participate in conversation with secretary divorce or heard as a or with any white house employee regarding the designation of a new acting inspector general? >> i did not. >> earlier this week for my college on the education if it is received a response from the department to an oversight letter on this topic, unfortunately, the department's response was wholly inadequate, did not address the vast majority of our questions for documentation. the departments response sites, executive branch confidential interest, as a reason not to produce the requested documentation, my question to you, has the president invoked executive privilege? >> not to my knowledge, senator. >> as the department performed a document search of records that would be responsive to the request of my education committee colleagues, or the follow-up letter from february 19, that was sent from a democratic leadership of all
house and senate education and oversight committees, including this full committee? >> senator, i don't know, but i will investigate. >> has the department issued a preservation order to ensure the documents responsive to our request will not be destroyed? >> i can assure you that documents will not be destroyed, irrelevant. >> my final point, thank you again mister chairman, can i have your commitment that my colleagues and i will receive a full and complete response to our letters from february 1, and february 19, no later than march 5? >> senator, we will work to expedite responses to your inquiries. >> i appreciate your answers, thank you so much mister chairman. >> i plan to reclaim my time, was my colleagues will asked questions about this hearing. >> i'm happy not to speak yet, i just want to say, most of the series of responses i've heard in 18 years. >> are we going to talk about
the focus of our 18 month investigation? if not i will ask questions. >> i have questions about the report, i as a member of the health committee also have the same concerns that senator peters raised, so i think, as always, we respect each other's use of our time. i certainly >> i want to be sure we have the opportunity. >> of course. and i have questions prepared for that, but i also just want indicate, that i share the concerns that senator peters raised. thank you. mister chair, i want to thank you, senator portman and ranking member carper, for your continued attention to the issue of foreign influence in the u.s. education system. thank you to all of the witnesses for being here today, for your service, and for your appearance and for your very informative testimony. i want to start with the question, to you, and to mister douglas, it is clear that u.s.
schools have challenges with establishing and maintaining confucius institutes, for example, faculty at some schools have raised concerns that the office of chinese language council international is able to exert influence over the development of curriculum or program requirements related to chinese studies at u.s. schools. i speak for all of us in saying that the chinese communist party cannot have an unchecked voice or promote its elected agenda in the u.s. as part of a larger propaganda or government directed national campaign. to address some of these concerns, some schools have developed their own safeguards against influence on academic affairs through faculty led initiatives. for example, the university of new hampshire has taken steps to ensure that all curriculum and programs are developed solely by its own faculty. hired director faculty programs, and put in place processes for the review and
approval of confucius institutes programs and course material by an academic oversight committee, and the college of liberal arts. let's start, in addition to some of the recommendations in the subcommittee report that highlight the need for additional transparency, is there a role for the department of education to support schools that wish to continue to implement these kinds of safeguards to help ensure the integrity of these programs? >> senator, we are always concerned with institutional autonomy and academic freedom in any threats to academic freedom, we will work with schools at their request, to help guarantee that, and if they request support in crafting appropriate agreements, we would be willing to provide the report. >> do you think it's appropriate for the department to reach out? because now that this report has been issued, and there have been some concerns about the behavior of some of these
institutes on some campuses, it may be incumbent on the department to do the kind of outreach to schools that may not be aware of this report, or may not be aware of some of the activities that some of the confucius institutes and their members have engaged in. >> we are willing to work with the committee to make all of our institutions schools and sponsors aware of the results of these investigations. and reports. >> let me ask, esther douglas, i would like to understand how the department of state can engage chinese government representatives in ensuring the confucius institute contract are developed in consultation with u.s. entities and are transparent. >> let me say, my responsibilities start at the water's edge and go out. rather than in. so, as i mentioned in my remarks, when we are harassed overseas, we regularly bring this up with chinese authorities and expect
reciprocity. in the agreements that they have with the universities, we do not interfere with that. >> so, your realm? >> senator, i would be happy to answer that, the state department as i mentioned in my testimony does not have authority over confucius institutes per se, because they are not designated sponsors to host international visitors to the u.s. >> so between the department of education and the department of state, how are we going to get to a place where we are following some of the recommendations of this report? my colleagues have mentioned, and you should recommendations of certain components of the contract should be eliminated, including the components that make the contracts confidential. so how is, how, or who, among
in the executive branch, is going to say to the chinese government, keeping these contracts confidential is not comfortable? >> i would say, as a department, we are involved in a larger discussion, in u.s. universities, about the importance of transparency, about the importance of protection of academic freedom, so that conversation is ongoing, and we are involved in that conversation. >> what i would like to suggest is that we be more involved, there has to be a way to let the chinese government no, if they have an interest in having these institutes on our college campuses, that the contracts have to be transparent. that they can't keep the terms of those contracts confidential, and i would look forward to working with all of you to figure out how we can make that happen. >> we would welcome the
opportunity to discuss that further. >> and just, i thank you for that, i want to get back, and i respect the chairs interest in making sure we focus on the report, which is a very important report, and something that i think we all need to continue to work, to implement the recommendations of, that i did want to go back, to follow up on what i think i heard was a commitment from you in the department to senator peters. i'm on the health committee, i have been on letters to the department, to try to understand why the aci cs entity was re-credentialed, i've expressed concerns about the department's citations, about recommendations for this entity, that weren't true, and so i want to make sure that we do, in fact, get a response, a much more adequate response than the letter we got from
mister oppenheim, on february 25, to our letters about this, so, again, can i have your commitment that the department will provide a full and complete response to the letters sent on fairbury first, 19th and can you do it no later than march 5? >> senator, we will work to expedite a response. >> and please note, also, for the record, that this letter cites something called the executive branch confidentiality interest, that i'm unaware of such an interest that would allow the department to fail to respond to a congressional inquiry. thank you. >> i'll just say to our new member, very new member, we sometimes jim and i will yield to other folks on the committee, before we take and ask questions, if they have other things that need to be doing, and i'd be happy to yield to you if you would like.
>> i think the ranking member, for yielding, and also the chairman the two of you, for bringing together this group, and opening a discussion on something that i think is quite important. and appreciate the various people coming today, and testifying in providing information and perspective. i think it's pretty clear that, that we in china have very different views on a whole host of very important topics. and i was just writing on the list here, everything from how we deal, and welcome minorities in our civilization, how we believe about diversity, what we think about single party rule, how we would deal with taiwan, for instance, our perspective on censorship is different, our perspective on human rights, very different,
the rule of law, in our nation, and their nation, is very different. the south china sea is an area of great conflict. the list goes on, we have a number of things that are very different between the perspectives of a free people in the u.s., and the leadership of china. so i wonder, with these confucius institutes, are part of an influence campaign, by the chinese government, to shape attitudes in the minds of the american children, the coming generations, as to those kinds of differences. is this really a propaganda effort? i mind shaping effort, of our young people. being carried out through the hospices of these confucius institutes? so, i would ask for your perspective, and whether you believe that's the case. >> i would say, generally, senator, first of all, thank you for the question.
i would say, generally, the state department supports international educational exchange, we support american learning critical languages, as you may know, the bureau of education and cultural affairs thanks to congressional support conducts a number of programs to teach americans languages critical to our national security, including mandarin chinese. we have the gilman fellowship for young americans, and we also have the national security and which initiative, which supports both high school and college students to go overseas and study languages critical to the u.s. national security. >> that makes all the sense in the world to study other languages, and learn about other cultures. but the question i have is whether the chinese government is selecting individuals, funding for individuals into our educational institutions, with the intent not of letting us learn important global language, but also, and different culture, but also to gain a perspective on a host of issues where they and we have
different points of view, whether this is an influence campaign, what is being financed as an influence campaign. to shape public opinion of our young people. >> thank you for the question. i would say that in the course of the work that we did, looking at confucius institutes, the thing that really pops out for us was the variety or activities that they do, you've heard about the language training, and is ranking member carver talked about in his statement, there are other cultural events they focus on, holiday celebrations, cooking events, things like that. we didn't focus on questions that you are focused on there, but i think that it's notable the variety of activities that they perform. >> i'm not sensing anyone jumping to the bait on that. and perhaps we don't have information about that. i guess that's the question in my mind, which is, i would welcome the chance to learn about a foreign language, the
culture of another people, but it's, it would be a different matter to have people coming in from another nation that have such dramatically different perspectives, then we do in our country, if their intent and come to our country is to inculcate those attitudes, and use among our young people. i would hope that, there's a way for us to be able to determine whether that's occurring, and the extent to which it's occurring. and provide, if it is occurring, provide a warning, to educational institutions, about the potential concern that is attached to something of that nature. is also spoken about reciprocity and the opportunity for us to be able to share our culture and language in their nation, that's apparently been a difficult to obtain, the kind
of reciprocity that we had hoped, and i would anticipate that the degree to which we are able to welcome and provide visas and so forth to those that want to become part of confucius institutes here, would be gauged to a certain degree to the kind of welcome we receive their. and wonder whether we are taking action to make sure that there is a reciprocity here, with the degree of welcome that we have their. is that the case? is there more to be done there? >> because i'm here to speak about what we do in china, when we are harassed, or things are blocked or upset, we regularly protest to the chinese government that we expect the same treatment here that we give to your embassy, and the u.s. we make those protests, how successful they are, that's another matter, but we do regularly approach them, deny myself when i was visiting their. and make it clear that we expect that. >> that is, i think, wise and
effective, i would also suggest that in some respects, we might respond, in the same way with their request that they respond ours. which, it's one thing to protest when they do things that we don't approve of, it's another thing to say, if you're going to do that to people that we are trying to encourage to be part of your system, we're going to do the same to yours. that seems to concentrate the mind, more than protest. i'm happy to return the time back to the ranking member or the chairman. i think my time is up. >> thank you, i appreciate your comments, and i think you are hitting the nail on the head. i think the question is, whether this confucius institute funding, and the activities that they engage in,
is something that is consistent with our traditions here, and what we found in our report, of course, is that it is not. and the geo found the same thing, in their reporting, and i think mister douglas might be a little more forthcoming in a moment when he talks about how we were treated over there, because we don't have reciprocity there, this is why the state department has actually shut down our program there, because they can't operate. there's no reciprocity. in his opening statement, we are asking more questions about it, but let's, i appreciate your questions, and your insights are accurate, mister barrett, thank you for working with us, and issuing your report last night, a separate investigation, as you indicated, with these confucius institutes that indicates academic freedom among other things, you have talked about the level of
control and the lack of transparency, for example, officials told subcommittee that the confucius institutes were not the place to discuss topics like the independence of taiwan or kinnaman square, the report said, for example, the researchers told you that at confucius institute could choose to avoid posting elsewhere on campus such as taiwan, government of tibet, so as not to offend its chinese partners,". can you elaborate on that self- censorship? >> thank you for the question, that's an important topic, it's one of the central issues that we dealt with, in a report, live when he start with the issue of transparency, as we talked about in my opening statement, one of the notable things about the agreements that we got copies of, between the u.s. university and their chinese partner, was whether those agreements were going to be able to be publicly available, and what we found was that only 42 of the nine, 42 of the 90 contain specific
clauses making them confidential, or in some way limiting the public release of those documents. when we talked to a variety of stakeholders and faculty administrators, a number of them raise that issue. whether it was real or apparent, it creates, at a minimum, concern about what's in those agreements. so a number of universities that we spoke to were willing to share this agreements with us, and i think a number of the stakeholders think that that's a really important first step. >> let me take you to exhibit 1, because you made the point about these contracts, and if you look in your binder, it's in front of you, with entering into the record today, there's some concerning provisions. the contract states, as you will see, that the chinese instructor should conscientious safeguard national interest. these are chinese instructors who are here on a visa in the u.s., the contract terminates if the chinese instructors violate chinese laws. their subject to chinese laws here in america.
or, engages in activities detrimental to national interests. so, this is on a college campus, where we pride academic freedom, and pleasant restrictions on that confucius institutes instruction we were able to find many contracts, because they are hard to find, and some are confidential, this one might have been but we were able to obtain a. the report also found that some school officials expressed concerns of the confucius institute hiring process to follow their own hiring processes for teachers of the university. in fact, your report found that some schools did not have, full control over selecting his teachers. why is it concerning that u.s. schools have foreign teachers assigning these contracts, with contract law, to be enforced by chinese law, and then second,
that conscientiously sacred in the national interest is one of the requirements, and they can be terminated if they engage in activities detrimental to the national interests in addition to the fact that these schools aren't following your normal hiring procedures in order to hire these individuals. some of whom do teach added courses. can you respond to that? >> let me try to the best of my ability to talk about what we heard during the course of our review, and you appropriately pointed out some of the concerns that were expressed to us as well, about the hiring process for these teachers. we heard a mix of views, we certainly talked to a number of universities that either had chosen to close the confucius institute, or had considered opening a confucius institute but had made a decision not to. one of the reasons was that they didn't feel like they had full control over the hiring process, and that was a dealbreaker for them, so they made a decision that they thought was in the best interest of the university. some of the confucius institutes that we visited the door open during the course of
our review, though they may have had some concerns, felt that they had the final decision-making authority over who they would hire, and they were choosing from a set of applicants, they're comfortable with that decision. so the opinions really differed on that issue. >> on research quickly, your report found that confucius institutes also sponsor chinese related research projects for u.s. students and u.s. professors. and those proposals had to be approved by the chinese government first. you said that several school officials expressed concern or uncertainty about whether the confucius institute would sponsor a research project on a topic that could include criticism of china. again, going to academic freedom and research, that's not consistent as senator romney was talking about, with our traditions here. mister douglas, so much to talk about in terms of the china part of this, let me ask you, something straightforward here, can you describe to us what reciprocity means in international relations? quickly?
>> that's, i'm not a lawyer, i don't with the legal term is. >> reporter: your diplomat. >> if one side does something, the other side could do it, too. so the state department has found that the chinese government essentially shut down one state program known as the american cultural centers, the acc program, we talked about this earlier. let me ask a couple questions about, the state department and your relationship with acc programs is for is when people talk about in the confucius institutes. the state department contract with the acc programs have a clause that says that the schools must conscientiously safeguard u.s. interest. >> no. >> do you bet or screen u.s. professors for the acc program? >> no. >> does the state department require that they approve every acc event? >> does the state department
maintain lecture topics at ecc? >> no. spirit the state department always provide u.s. schools with preapproved textbooks and materials for acc? >> no. spent does the state of her regret [ inaudible ] as we talked about? >> not that i know of. >> to summarize, state government does not maintain control of her teachers, topics, or speakers at ecc in china. >> exactly right. spirit that doesn't sound like reciprocity the way you described it. >> no. what we are dealing, this is how we deal with it in the american system with american values of what when we go to overseas. that is where in public policy would we focus on, is what we do overseas. that's how we operate worldwide. >> let me ask you this, we talked about the institutes at college campuses, and 500 and k- 12, how many american cultural centers has the state department funding in china today? >> three.
and they are holdovers, their funding will run out, the remains of what funds they have. >> the others have been closed down. we stopped funding. after the summer, how many will there be in china? >> zero. >> zero, okay. i've ceded my time, but i will come back with more questions. >> i'm sitting here thinking about a couple of former colleagues, one is a guy named biden who served here for seven terms. he was the senior democrat on the foreign races committee, he has a lot of sayings, we served together in a lot of capacities, and i heard them all. one of my favorite, joe biden, was all diplomacy is personal. all diplomacy is personal. he also said that about politics. is personal. i think there's a lot of truth to that, mentioning to our chairman, as an aside earlier in the hearing, there was once a rising chinese official, who came to the u.s., interested in
learning more about agriculture. they wanted to go to a breadbasket in the heartland, and ended up in a couple states, one was iowa. he was hosted by the governor there, and the guy hit it off, had a great visit, learned a lot, and later on the governor made the admission to china, and they would cross paths again, the chinese officials, his last name was she, and the american governor, his last name was branstad, now, our chinese ambassador. i think about them, and their friendship, over all these years. i think about what joe said, about the diplomacy being personal. we focus, we had our caucus retreats last month, democrats had their caucus retreats, and republicans had theirs, we never do them together, we never eat together. we are focusing our retreats on things that divide us.
i talked to some republican colleagues about their retreat, my molds, and they said they spend affirmative time focusing on what divides us as well. i think one of the things that's important in our relationship with china, a huge trading partner, they will be around for a long time, hopefully we will, too, and we got to figure out how to get along with them. how to get along with them. having said that, i don't like being taken advantage of. i should ask the audience, anybody out there like being taken advantage of? none of us do. so for me, the challenge is, how do we make sure we won't be taken advantage of as a nation? without having her strengths diminished by these guys. at the same time, do what we can divide areas of agreement. one of our colleagues is a guy here from gillette, wyoming, wonderful guy, republican, conservative, he and ted kennedy used to have a great relationship and they were the seniors, one of the committees
that senator romney is on, the health committee, health education, they got a huge amount done, i always ask, how do you guys work so well together? you said we focus on the 8020 rule. we focus on 80% of what we agree on, and 20% for what we don't agree, and we get a lot done. as a result. i think it's important for us to use a similar kind of rule if you are trying to you focus on the areas where we agree, set-aside areas we don't agree, that's not a bad recipe. that doesn't mean we agree when they try to decide to steal our trade secrets, steal our military secrets, it doesn't mean we should agree with them when they do unfair things on the trade side, but having said that, it's from those ways to agree. let me ask you a question. i think a really insightful question, on the one hand we want to be able to work with these folks, where we can, on
the other hand, we are taking advantage of. what should we do in response to the kind of behavior that we see demonstrated by them? and the reluctance or refusal to allow us to have reciprocity, in their countries , what should we do? i will start with a fellow on my staff said the general sitter names rhymes with nice, it rhymes with mace. there you go. take a shot at that question. not a long answer, but you had a great series of answers earlier, just pick that. >> senator, if you know how to get reciprocity while still maintaining the lines of communication between our societies, i don't know how to do that. we understand that everything in communist china is run by the government. other education system, and everything. i don't know how you take politics out of interaction
with that regime, that government. >> before i turned to ambassador, i mentioned to a chairman, i just mentioned to our colleagues, i ran into max blockers yesterday, former colleague, and the investor china, and i'm interested in asking him, i wish we had brought him here. pulling him up to the table and say what you think? but i would like to pick his brain, and get a current ambassador, terry branstad with whom we serve. users with him as governor? governor for life, and he became ambassador for life, we will see. some question, we know we need to figure out how to get along with these people, we don't want to be taken advantage of, cultural exchanges can be really helpful, they worked in a lot of other places, wears, i
guess, the balance to mark the balance here? can we do this? >> is becoming different linkages? six, seven? >> thank you, senator. i'm going to go off script here to answer. >> you should be able to. >> i'm going to follow your lead. i think this is an essential question, i think it is a tough one to achieve that balance, so i would like to speak for my professional experience, diplomat, >> speak from your heart. >> 15 years of my career in china. engaged in public diplomacy work, engaged in trying to explain the united states to chinese, and i have found that i think two elements of this, of a solution are essential, and we need to just keep at them. the first element is, we need to call the chinese out when they behave badly. whether it's a canceled speech, or an edited set of remarks, or
not allowing us to go to university campuses, we need to keep calling them out. we can do that enough, in my view. the second thing we need to do. >> who is the week? you're right, who is the week? >> we the state department, that's what we do as diplomats, stationed in mission china, here in washington, we can amplify that message with china's diplomats. >> and >> absolutely. we can do this at all levels of our government. >> we have congressional delegation to go over there from time to time? >> yes, we have u.s. universities who engage, and they can share those messages from their own perspective. >> maybe the idea of a consistent message from us? the second thing we need to do is, continue to share american values and american best practices, with young chinese. with the next generation of
chinese. chinese students represent the largest number of international students in the u.s., so we know there is continued interest in a high quality american education, and the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that we have in the u.s., there's value in the academic freedom, and the world-class research that american universities offer, and i have to believe that the chinese leader who visited iowa, and the other trainees who visit the u.s. learn something about our system, and that that will make a difference in the long run. that is my public diplomacy hard speaking, i thank you again for the question. >> you bet, i said earlier, another response you don't mind, i said earlier before other colleagues arrived that,
we had a series of great responses, i would say your response you just hit a home run. there were maybe a couple runners on base, so thank you for that. mister douglas, sorry you had to follow that, go ahead. >> let me say, i was going to say in various ways, the same thing, >> i'm walter douglas, and i approve this message. >> good enough for me. >> but i've been involved with public diplomacy since 1986, i joined usaa, what you see is, the engagement we have with public diplomacy does tend to have a long-term impact. and we see leaders all over the world who run the programs, 30 years later, 20 years later, the impact from that. we try to track how many of our world leaders and world cabinet members and those types have been on our programs, and we usually come up with a 2025% number, a recent change of government in her country in
the new cabinet that came in, 14 of the cabinet numbers had been in one of our programs somewhere. it give us an automatic dialogue. >> so, we see that in china, ambassador mentioned the number of students who come here, whatever programs is successful there, education usa, we talk about, we prepare them, give student advising, talk about coming to the u.s., they have an impact when they come back with a broader view of the u.s., that across the board with all of our exchange programs. these have an impact in the long-term, and they change attitudes. and so, we have such an attractive society, people want to come here, that's a good strategic advantage we have, it's our soft power, it's awesome throughout the world, as a public diplomacy officer, i've seen the impact, the more we can expose people in the u.s., the better off the long- term result is. >> and i'm way over my time, i would ask you, you guys do great work, we love what we do,
thank you,. >> that means have a good new year in the year of the boar, the just begin recently. all the best. >> thank you. i would like to ask general holly if he has questions and to welcome you to the subcommittee as well as senator romney, as you can see we are freewheeling here, we also do good nonpartisan work here, some significant legislation, in addition to our oversight response abilities, we are pleased to have both of you here. >> thank you mister chairman, ranking members. it's a privilege to be here and part of the subcommittee. let me come back to the public diplomacy, mister douglas i want to start with you, your prepared testimony, you shared a lot of information, good information. about the extent of chinese government interference and disruption of the public diplomacy efforts. beyond the experience of the american cultural center programs, for example, the chinese government efforts to disrupt some of our outreach,
from our embassy in beijing, social media etc., i would ask you about chinese government disruptions of public diplomacy efforts outside of china, particularly, the 68 countries that china considers part of the belt road initiatives. i'm just wondering, recognizing that china's footprint differs across the countries, have you noticed explicit cases of chinese government interference interruptions of u.s. public diplomacy efforts in those places, and if so, what is that look like? >> i wouldn't say it like that, it's generally more as a competitive space out there, that we both go and fill, and we have our public diplomacy efforts, i think because our product is better to sell, and that is in a sense we have america, the u.s. and all its values are programs tend to be more popular. we get large attendance, we don't have to force anyone to do anything about it.
so while we see they have some public diplomacy programs, i wouldn't say there is effective. i also note that we lost our first ever report of china's public diplomacy, it was presented in singapore, in june of this of 2018, in which it underscored how, what the efforts are, how much they tie it into economic policies, but we also found that we needed to know more, so we've actually come with around two of that, and we've got our second report that will be coming out in a few months, which worked and more aspects of what chinese public diplomacy is. in east asia pacific region. for us, it's helpful to have a better understanding of what they do. they are out there, but i don't think that because, what they ultimately have to share, with other countries, i don't think it's nearly as impact that we have. >> telus a little bit about some of the ways that the chinese government tends to interfere with our public diplomacy efforts, apart from in addition to our american
cultural center programs. >> well, we mentioned for example, they harassing some of our visitors for international visitors program 20% at one point, it was even one of the participants was at the airport, and was pulled back. so it can go to this haphazard, application, in the absence of a rule of law it's unclear when and how they will do that, it's something we live with, but we still think that for the other person's they get through which a greater, these programs are worth it. we see the censorship on the social media platforms, we see censorship in general with everything we do, it might take an op-ed and hecate the pieces, keep some of it, let others be printed, other parts be printed, so all along, the line, you don't really know what's going to happen. it's a very haphazard, predictable application of whatever rules and regulations they have, so, we still just have to work with it, it's one
of the difficulties of working in that country, but we're still dedicated to doing it. i should note that i mentioned chinese p speaking, my colleague over here, that's an effective tool for us, that we have our officers who can be out there, interacting not just with chinese government officials, public diplomacy we cannot do that, but we can cover a broad range of opinion leaders, rising leaders and those types, because of our officers. >> telus about some of the measures that we have taken, you talk about the efforts of disruption, some of which you say we have to live with, we press on, but are there measures that we are taking to adapt to respond to, curtail their interference, or just to try and get around the interference with our public diplomacy efforts? >> i think what we look at, i could say this is true everywhere we go, i've been served in nine or 10 countries now, is that we have this toolkit of diplomacy tools, and
different ones are appropriate for different countries. in your my last overseas posting was india, open democratic country, you can do anything. we never got know, we never had any officer you couldn't do this, we never had anybody censored for what they did. when you go to other countries, you have to look at what part of the toolkit is most appropriate, where can you get the biggest bang for the buck? so a public affairs officer then choose from that, which works, and then actually see what works, education usa, because we know that the chinese are interested in studying the u.s., it's something that they welcome as any college advising they have even below college, so, we try to promote those things where we know we can have a lot more success. >> thank you. but i'm remaining, i want to come back to the broad topic of the confucius institutes, which we've been discussing quite a lot, i have to say, reading the report, looking at the spread
of these institutes, the degree of government control is really shocking i think, and the american public would be shocked and will be shocked to learn about what is going on in these college campuses. i'm not sure to whom to direct this question, let me just throw it out there, can you talk about, broadly, one question that people have when they hear about this is, why would an american college campus allow something like this? why would they ever think this is a good idea? why is that? do you want to address that? how does it happen that we find ourselves in this circumstance to begin with? >> i would be happy to start with that. we visited a number of colleges and university campuses that host confucius institutes. they had a variety of reasons, some of them were interested in attracting more chinese students, so they felt that having a confucius institute might provide them some entrie to get a greater number of chinese students, as you've heard from others, a third of the foreign students studying in the u.s. are from china, so
they viewed that as attractive, it's an opportunity for them to have programs that they wouldn't otherwise, be able to fund, related to chinese language, so those were some key things that they mentioned for us. >> how big of a component is funding do you think? the availability of funds for programs university might have to spend is on budget on? the answer very significantly by university. there are some very large universities which have a significant amount of funding available, and it's going to be less important, but for some of the smaller universities that might not otherwise be able to have access to those, it could be a more significant poll for them. >> i just know that the chinese funds, chinese governors hired 158 million in funds over this past decade, which is really staggering i think, and quite significant. thank you for being here, i see that my time is expired. >> i just make one additional
thought, which is, it's stunning to me, that they have effectively closed down our cultural centers in china, we will be at zero by the end of the year, if they have 100 here. and we say, we are going to protest and we are going to express how unhappy we are, with them doing this. but it's also the question as a comment, which is, where we not saying it's going to be harder for you to get visas for people to come here and become part of your center? because i think the chinese, like other people, like myself, responded to action, and when they are able to keep adding more and more confucius centers, and bringing in people, and in many cases inculcating people with values that we would find foreign and unappropriate, inappropriate, that we continue to allow that without taking reciprocal action, and saying, you don't have our centers, you're not
going to have your centers. that would be part one, and part two, i would think it would be unacceptable in our country, to have a faculty member on a university campus, that is, k-12 institution, that subject to a contract with a foreign government. as opposed to being subject only to the contract and the principles and procedures of the american educational institution. i think, in both of those things, we can take action, is not necessarily have legislation to pursue that action, but in both cases we need to take action, to assure that these institutions are not part of an influence effort that we would find inappropriate, and that the faculty members that are teaching in our institutions are abiding by american principles in the contract of
american institutions as opposed to the contract of the communist chinese government. if you have any comment or thought on i'm happy to have that opportunity. >> thank you for this. i like to comment on that. i think again, your insightful and making good points, i would say two things, one, threatened to discontinue the programs here might be very effective, they will open up what you've experienced in china, as mister douglas has talked about. but we are talking about today, in a report, is simply having the transparency is required under law. with all due respect, the state permit has visited how many, too, out of the hundred and 10 until we started our investigation, 100 colleges and universities, and defined violations of both, significant violations of both. there haven't been any other site visits. we know that 33 of the 4870% of
the u.s. schools that should have reported a contribution from a foreign government, have not done so. so, 70% of the schools are in violation. and yet, you haven't referred a single one for the department of justice, which is under law what has to happen. justice can't prosecute unless you refer. so, it's even worse than you're saying, in a sense. we are not near to the point of suggesting that we discontinue, but what we are saying is, unless there's transparency, and at least following u.s. law, we ought to discontinue the existing practice, because it's not consistent with traditions and practices as we talked about here in terms of the contract with these teachers and the lack of academic freedom, it's not even following our own laws and we are enforcing our own laws. finally, i will say, second
point, is of the chinese communist party central committee just a few days ago published a document saying the confucius institutes remain a key government policy, and that china now plans to optimize the spread of confucius institutes. >> i don't play the blame them, it's working pretty well for them. if you the communist party in china. optimizing might mean rebranding in ways that would intend to seek even more other interest, national interest as we talk about in these contracts, and less transparency and disclosure, but this is a serious concern, and both of you outlined that well, we want more exchange, of course, we want more engagement. we believe that china ought to be a strategic partner. in addition to being a strategic competitor. and yet it has to be on a basis of a level playing field.
made the analogy earlier to our trade policy, it's not a bad analogy, where senator romney is right, the way to get the attention of the chinese government on the trade issue has been to say, if you will let our products in, and treat our nobodies fairly, then we will have to reciprocate. what you find is they come to the table which is what's happening now and our hope is that in the next short period of time, maybe the next few weeks we will have resolutions about. here, we haven't even enforced her own laws. so i think we've been able with our investigations the last eight months, through interviews to be able to obtain enough information to at least be sure the state department, which has a responsibility here in this country, ambassador, you're not just focused on overseas, and the department of education, which has a responsibility here, not to at a minimum follow the u.s. law that's in place. and for that new guidance, the guidance is 14 years old, was
put in place when there was one confucius institute, as it grows we ought to be sure that these universities and colleges and high schools and middle schools and elementary schools know what the guidance is. >> we agree with you. this is a concern, and we are grateful to you and your committee for shining a light on this issue. and bringing it to public attention, and we look forward to working with you to rectify some of these issues. >> thank you, let me ask you a couple questions if i could. with regard to the schools that have not reported, what is your intention with regard to acting on that and specifically including the department of justice, by giving them the information? >> in the past, every institution that we've called and reminded them of the referral to report, normally this comes to our attention because they reported significant gifts in the past,
and they fail to report a gift, they responded appropriately and provided a request information. we've never had an institution that has just refused to report, which is why we've never referred the case to the justice department. but what the department needs to do is figure out how to be more proactive. in getting complete reports from all of the institutions. >> with all due respect, when 70% of the schools based on our investigation, maybe we are wrong, 70% of the schools are not complying, so, you have to make more phone calls if you're saying that's the way to do it. is to be sure that they understand it. otherwise, a civil action may be brought by the attorney general at the request of the secretary of education. and, if you're finding that people aren't complying, even though you're providing guidance, maybe that was indicated earlier with regard to the chinese government on reciprocity, that would get people's attention. >> yes, senator.
you look briefly at exhibit 2, on the table, in front of you, it's a dear colleague letter, dated october 4, to u.s. schools, and provides detailed reporting of gifts, contracts and relationships, i like enter exhibit 2 under the record, this is about 15 years old, do you have a planned issue this updated guidance to u.s. schools regarding foreign gift? >> at the present time, we do not have a plan, but we certainly look forward to exploring how to clarify this, guidance document, and working with the committee to clarify portions of the statute that are not clear, as i mentioned in my testimony, the issue of affiliated independent foundations through which gifts and contract dollars are routed, is not addressed in the statute. we want to clarify that as well.
>> we would be glad to work with you and clarifications on the statute, but that's clear enough to know that you have to report, so you are forward leaning earlier in your responses to questions on more difficult issues, on this when you can give us a yes, which is you will issue guidance, the question is when, but will issue this guidance so we don't have these continue to be uncertain about what their response abilities are. >> absolutely. >> and ambassador, same question to you, yes or no question, you found problems with this use at all of your site visits, huge problem. relative to what you expected, you got a 2%, of the confucius institutes, you found 30 visas had to be revoked, and to institutions. do you have a plan to ensure
proper visa use at the 98% that you have not visited? >> thank you mister chairman for the question. we take a monitoring role seriously, as i said in my statement, and let me just describe we have a layered approach to monitoring. while we have only done two site visits to date, of university sponsors that host confucius institutes, we have four more planned this year, and we have also, regularly engage in what we call meet and greet, which are meetings with sponsors to share information on regulation, to inquire, and to explore, out of those, we would then conduct electronic reviews. of the various databases, the student exchange visitor database for example, operated by department of homeland security, and other databases to explore further, so we have a layered approach, site visits
are only the most intensive of our reviews. we have ongoing engagement with our sponsors, across the full range >> is that ongoing engagement enable you to find out whether they are being properly operated? >> it allows us to uncover that, and we would then engage in a site visit as we plan with four more university sponsors that host confucius institutes this year. >> i would suggest that taking it from 2% to 6% may be a substantial increase, but not nearly adequate, if it's a site visit that's going to enable you, i would hope that the data you would tell us he will step up those efforts. >> we will certainly look at that, we are investigation today, we have encouraged in the two site visits, both sponsors have rectified their program administration. and are now in full compliance. we think that our methodology
makes sense, and our record is good, and we will explore further investigation. >> one thing that i think could be done is make schools aware of what's going on. in the time period of the last eight months well we started this investigation, can progress and have been terminated. i can't see this because of our questions that we ask all 110 schools, 100 schools, but it had an influence. because they weren't aware, at the higher levels of the university, leadership, what was going on, and what some of the concerns are that we've raised today. i heard you say earlier that you intend to be providing this report to the colleges and universities that are engaged. >> accurate. >> to the 96 institutions that currently have confucius institutes, but we will send clarifying guidance to all of the 3700 eligible institutions
of higher education. >> with regard to the k-12 schools, with your recommendation there? do you have the ability to send them guidance? >> i don't know what our role in the monitoring of k-12 is, for chinese teachers, as state superintendent of education, and south carolina, we had chinese language native speakers in some of our language immersion schools, they were exchanged, we sent teachers to china. >> you're talking about the confucius institutes? would you look into that? >> >> we will check into it and see what we can do. i am not sure what we can do senator. >> i am not sure either. but the proper communication is to provide information. to those institutions as well.
mr. douglas you said earlier that chinese diplomats can speak with whomever they want. in ohio we welcome them at our colleges and universities. what is the situation in china regarding the plans of their ability to speak with whatever group they might choose? >> sometimes it can work and sometimes not. you cannot guarantee you will have access to anyone. meetings can get canceled at the last minute. which is what happened with the ambassador in november. it is unpredictable. >> let me tell you one story we heard during our investigation. it was from a u.s. school official. a dean. he told us she was interviewed for several hours by chinese police. regarding her school's involvement with your acc program. it was a harrowing experience for her.
it was difficult difficult, emotionally. a tough experience. is this something you believe happens often? are you concerned about u.s. universities self censoring and china because of this kind of harassment? >> that's a very good question. it is something we talk about. a lot. i cannot give you an answer. i don't know that we have data that would prove one way or the other. anecdotally we hear about things like that. i don't know how widespread. just a handful of us with a lot more american educators over there. it's a very good question. i just don't think i can answer it definitely. >> one school told us they would never discuss the topic of tibet or taiwan. that is part of their investigation. this was someone who is,
telling us how they are experiencing the acc program. that sounds like self- censorship, doesn't it? yes. it sure does. spectre you think that is typical? >> i have heard that anecdotally. i assume it is more than one person. >> i appreciate all of you coming today. and your testimony and work. i appreciate the commitments that have been made by the department of education and the department of state to step up what is the first step which is to provide that transparency and information required by law. i appreciate continued oversight of the confucius institutes, i know your report is not the end , you will look into this. we look forward to continuing to work with you. we will now conclude the hearing. i will tell you, we are always open to more information. particularly this was open for
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