WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday accused U.S. universities of caving to Chinese pressure to blunt or bar criticism of the Chinese Communist Party. The attack, which included identifying two university administrators by name, comes as the Trump administration seeks to cement its anti-China policies before leaving office in January.
Pompeo took aim at universities across the U.S., claiming they refused to address the Trump administration’s concerns about China’s attempts to influence students and academics. He specifically called out the president of MIT, alleging he refused to host Pompeo’s speech, and a senior official at the University of Washington over a case involving a Chinese student.
Both universities swiftly and emphatically denied the charges.
Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s tough stance on China in remarks at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The speech came less than a month before Georgia’s two critical run-off races that will determine control of the Senate.
“Americans must know how the CCP is poisoning the well of our higher education for its own ends, and how those actions degrade our freedoms and our national security. If we don’t educate ourselves, we’ll get schooled by Beijing,” he said. “They know that left-leaning college campuses are rife with anti-Americanism, and present easy target audiences for their anti-American messaging.”