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U.S. senators want review of Chinese donations to U.S. universities

Berita 24 English -  The United States introduced legislation Wednesday that would require national security reviews of significant Chinese ...

Berita 24 English - The United States introduced legislation Wednesday that would require national security reviews of significant Chinese gifts and contracts to American universities. They hope that limiting such reviews to China will allay academic concerns that reviews of foreign funding could jeopardize research.

The measure, which is an amendment to a broader bill aimed at boosting the United States' competitiveness with China, would require the federal government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review grants and contracts worth more than $1 million from China.

The comprehensive bill could be voted on in the Senate as early as this week. Additionally, it must pass the House of Representatives before being sent to President Joe Biden's desk for signature.

According to Reuters, Republican Senators Jim Risch and Marco Rubio and Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Ben Cardin proposed the amendment. Each of the four is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Menendez serves as the panel's chairman, while Risch serves as the panel's top Republican.

Risch championed the measure, reflecting growing concern in Washington about Chinese influence on higher education in the United States and the potential threat to national security.

China sends more students to American universities than any other country and is the largest source of foreign donations to American higher education, contributing more than $1 billion since 2014. Last year, the Department of Education under former Republican President Donald Trump accused universities of failing to disclose hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign donations, including those from China.

Colleges and universities had objected to the CFIUS requirement, claiming that requiring CFIUS reviews of all foreign donations would impose an onerous and costly burden on American schools, potentially excluding them from critical international research efforts.

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