Grassley presses DHS secretary about Confucius Institutes after Biden admin's move on proposed rule

"The American public, and most importantly parents, should be able to know whether or not the school their child attends has a relationship with a Chinese government propaganda machine," Grassley wrote in the letter.
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Sen. Chuck Grassley in January 2021
Sen. Chuck Grassley in January 2021
(Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Chuck Grassley in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressed concern about the Biden administration's move to withdraw a proposed Trump administration rule related to Confucius Institutes present at educational institutions.

Grassley warned that the Confucius Institutes serve to promulgate Communist Chinese propaganda and said that the proposed rule would have mandated that educational institutions divulge financial connections to Confucius Institutes.

The Iowa Republican declared that "it’s extremely concerning that the Biden administration has withdrawn the proposed rule that would have required schools to disclose their relationship with Confucius Institutes. The American public, and most importantly parents, should be able to know whether or not the school their child attends has a relationship with a Chinese government propaganda machine."

Grassley, the Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is seeking answers to questions such as whether DHS will reintroduce the same or a similar rule and whether DHS views Confucius Institutes as disseminators of communist Chinese government propaganda.

"That proposed rule would have required universities and K-12 schools to disclose their financial ties to Confucius Institutes," Grassley said in the letter. "U.S. Government agencies, including within the Intelligence Community, have clearly asserted that the communist Chinese government uses Confucius Institutes embedded in our academic institutions as a propaganda tool within the United States. Accordingly, withdrawing the rule is cause for serious concern and weakens our ability to detect and deter foreign influence efforts by the communist Chinese government.  DHS must explain whether it will re-submit the rule and what steps it has taken to detect and deter communist Chinese government influence activity within our academic environment," the senator said.