Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita penned the following op-ed.
When I ran for Attorney General, I promised Hoosiers I would hold China accountable for their many abuses, including stealing our intellectual property, committing human rights violations, and unleashing a deadly virus on the world, which they unsuccessfully tried to cover up.
I continue keeping my end of the bargain to Hoosiers.
Just weeks ago, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General started an investigation into Valparaiso University’s affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through its Confucius Institute. These organizations operate to spread propaganda and circulate the mantra of the CCP at both the university and in several K-12 schools in Indiana. Valparaiso alone has received at least $1.1 million from the CCP to operate its institute.
Three weeks after I announced the investigation, the university did the right thing by stating it intends to finally end its relationship with its Confucius Institute in six months. After March 1, 2022, there will no longer be any Confucius Institutes in the state of Indiana, but 38 still remain throughout the country. As a result of public scrutiny, Valparaiso has agreed to terminate its relationship with the CCP and has stated that the university will no longer receive CCP or other funding to hire CCP-blessed professors and staff from China through these partnerships.
According to a 2019 Senate Homeland Security Report, the CCP handpicks the directors and teachers for Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in the United States. The cherry-picked faculty and staff are then required to sign a pledge to protect Chinese national interests while teaching American students on American soil. Meanwhile their contracts can be terminated at any point should they violate “Chinese law” or “engage in activities detrimental to national interests.” Not only are teachers bound to protect the CCP’s interests, contracts between these American schools and the CCP’s Hanban Institute actually require them to obey Chinese law. Chinese law makes criticizing the CCP or the Chinese government illegal, thus making these American schools a CCP tool to suppress free speech.
A subsequent report issued by the congressionally created U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in 2020 stated that these propaganda efforts, which are referred to by the CCP as the “United Front,” are nothing more than an attempt to “co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party.”
In short, these Confucius Institutes are designed to infiltrate and influence the U.S. on issues that are important to how China and the CCP view the world. Any mention of historical events that show the Chinese government in a negative light — such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, sensitive topics including Falun Gong abuses or its aggression towards Taiwan — are prohibited from being taught. Under the Hanban contracts, it is illegal to mention China’s numerous human rights violations, including executing dissidents, forcing Tibetans into labor camps, and enslaving more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
In essence, through these CCP-funded organizations, the CCP is using bribery and extortion to operate a massive PR campaign in the U.S. and around the world designed to conceal its history and malign intentions.
China is not our friend.
As we speak, China is actively robbing U.S. companies of our intellectual property, stealing our patents, and then attempting to replace U.S. firms in the global marketplace using this stolen technology. Moreover, to this day they remain unwilling to allow any transparent investigation into the origins of the China Virus.
While hundreds of big, woke corporations, such as Facebook and Google, continue to lecture Americans about “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility” (DEIA), they have remained silent on China’s gross abuses of human rights, looking the other way while continuing to do business with them.
Rest assured, in Indiana we’ll be taking a different approach as long as I am in office. Our investigation into Valparaiso University’s ties to the CCP is ongoing but could be just the start of similar investigations elsewhere in the Hoosier state, regardless of the name given to these United Front CCP-funded organizations.
It is time to demand accountability from China, and my office will continue to make it a top priority.
Todd Rokita is the 44th Attorney General of Indiana.