Photo: Slogan for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in Tianxin District of Changsha, Hunan, China.
Photo Credit: Huangdan2060 / CC
Published August 3, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
On Thursday, U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (TN-01) signed on as an original co-sponsor to the Countering Communist China Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Banks.
This comprehensive legislation includes strong measures to counter China’s influence and espionage, hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its role in COVID-19, reshores our medical supply chains and much more.
According to a report on Breitbart, the bill first and foremost targets Chinese Communist Party influence operations inside the United States.
If passed, the bill would ban the United Work Development Front, China’s political operations arm, from accessing American financial institutions and prohibit American companies that receive federal subsidies from expanding business development in China or affiliating their businesses with entities that do business with the Chinese military.
The bill would also prohibit the National Science Foundation from awarding grants to colleges and universities that engage in programs or with entities with Chinese Communist Party ties, and establishes sanctions on Chinese companies for stealing U.S. intellectual property and prohibits said Chinese companies from ever again having any transactions with U.S. persons.
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The bill would establish a committee to investigate the origins and “coverup” by the Chinese Communist Party of the pandemic, as well as requiring “a determination into whether China’s negligence and coverup of the COVID-19 virus would meet the criteria of negligently using a biological weapon.”
Banks’s bill would also ban former members of Congress from lobbying for communist regimes like the Chinese Communist Party, Breitbart reports.
The bill also contains Harbarger’s REPORT Fines Act (Requiring Education Providers to Observe Requirements or Trigger Fines ) Act that aims to penalize universities that do not comply with reporting requirements for foreign gifts and contracts under the law.
“Universities that recklessly fail to report their foreign funding SHOULD NOT have their research funded by the federal government, period, “Harbarger said, “This commonsense measure will both compel universities to comply with the law and prevent intellectual property developed with taxpayer dollars from falling into the hands of our adversaries, such as the People’s Republic of China. We know the CCP is engaged in a robust campaign to steal American technology to further their global ambitions and I am committed to doing everything I can to stop them in their tracks.”
Under the leadership of former President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Department of Education uncovered approximately $6.5 billion in unreported foreign gifts and contracts to institutions of higher education.
This widespread failure to follow the law inspired Reps. Harshbarger and Fred Keller (R-PA) to introduce the REPORT Fines Act, which establishes a strike system of penalties ranging from a written warning, to fines equivalent to the gift, and finally disqualification from federal research funding. The bill also establishes accelerated penalties for failure to report funding from a foreign adversary and expands reporting requirements to include foreign gifts and contracts worth $50,000 or more.
Keller said, “When universities fail to report donations and projects funded by foreign adversaries, our national security is at risk and the integrity of America’s higher education system is diminished. Nations like China, Iran, and North Korea are actively funding research in the United States, yet we don’t know who or what they are funding. I am proud to join Congresswoman Harshbarger to increase transparency in our higher education system by establishing penalties for universities that avoid reporting foreign donation.”
Full text of the bill can be found HERE.
About the Author:
Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative
Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com