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Foxx, Gallagher Open Investigation into UC Berkeley's Joint Institute Linked to Chinese Military

WASHINGTON – As first reported by the New York Times, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) of the Education and the Workforce Committee, and Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, sent a letter to Dr. Michael V. Drake and Carol T. Christ, President and Chancellor of the University of California Berkeley, about Berkeley's joint institute with Tsinghua University and the Shenzhen government in China, citing grave research security concerns.
  • The Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) gives the People's Republic of China (PRC) easy access to Berkeley research and expertise, which the PRC can then use to its economic, technological, and military advantage.
  • TBSI’s research priorities bear striking resemblance to the PRC’s science and technology priorities—some appear to track the PRC’s 13th Five-Year Plan almost word-for-word—raising significant questions about whether U.S. taxpayer dollars are contributing to the PRC achieving its military and technological goals.
  • TBSI has collaborated with PRC universities on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, which restricts the export of certain technologies and items to entities that threaten U.S. national security interests.
  • While TBSI is billed as a joint technology venture among educational institutions, in practice, it appears to be a program through which the PRC pays for access to research and expertise from Berkeley experts, researchers, and students. 
In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, "The PRC abuses seemingly innocuous research collaborations like the one between Berkeley and Tsinghua to advance PRC science and technology goals at the expense of the United States. Under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strategy of military-civil fusion, seemingly civilian technologies—such as those developed through university collaborations—are mobilized to support the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The PRC has sent thousands of military scientists abroad to gather scientific-military know-how, obtain sensitive details regarding research projects and emerging technologies, and to gain access to American, academics, their research, and their networks."
To read the full letter, click here


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