ChinaJanuary 9 2024, 8:08 am

University of Montana Faces Controversy Over Program Linked to Chinese Influence

On 2 Jan­u­ary 2024, Nation­al Review report­ed that the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mon­tana is stand­ing by its part­ner­ship with an orga­ni­za­tion linked to the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty’s influ­ence efforts, despite the House Select Com­mit­tee on Chi­na’s request to ter­mi­nate the pro­gram. Host­ed by the Bau­cus Insti­tute, found­ed by for­mer U.S. ambas­sador to Chi­na, Max Bau­cus, the pro­gram includes edu­ca­tion­al trips to Chi­na and has ties with the Chi­nese U.S. Exchange Foun­da­tion (CUSEF). CUSEF is part of Chi­na’s Unit­ed Front, aimed at influ­enc­ing non-CCP mem­bers glob­al­ly. The Uni­ver­si­ty, defend­ing its col­lab­o­ra­tion, empha­sized its adher­ence to state and fed­er­al laws. CUSE­F’s involve­ment in oth­er U.S. uni­ver­si­ties’ con­tro­ver­sies, like a can­celed pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas in 2018 fol­low­ing Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz’s objec­tions, high­lights the ongo­ing debate over for­eign influ­ence in Amer­i­can high­er edu­ca­tion. Despite the Uni­ver­si­ty’s assur­ances, con­cerns about poten­tial CCP influ­ence remain, with the House com­mit­tee con­tin­u­ing to scru­ti­nize such partnerships.


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