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Foxx, Moolenaar, Wicker Launch Investigation into Georgia Tech for Partnership with Blacklisted Chinese Military-linked University

WASHINGTON – Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman John Moolenaar (R-MI), and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Wicker (R-MS) are demanding answers from Georgia Tech regarding its partnership with Tianjin University, a Chinese university with significant ties to the Chinese military, the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Georgia Tech is a top U.S. research university that is critical to America’s technological advancement and economic competitiveness. It’s also home to the Georgia Tech Research Institute, whose mission is to solve national security problems with the Department of Defense. This makes Georgia Tech’s decade-long collaboration with Tianjin University in China especially concerning.
The lawmakers decried Georgia Tech’s use of its Department of Defense research institute to fund sensitive research with Tianjin University, which was placed on a U.S. government blacklist for stealing American technology with military applications. Moreover, the lawmakers expressed concern over millions of dollars that Georgia Tech accepted from the People's Republic of China (PRC) to support its partnership with the blacklisted university, in addition to other PRC funding that the university appeared to neglect reporting to U.S. officials.

In the letter to Georgia Tech president Ángel Cabrera, Chairwoman Foxx, Chairman Moolenaar, and Ranking Member Wicker write: "Despite Tianjin University’s links to the PLA and its efforts to steal dual-use U.S. trade secrets, Georgia Tech has continued collaborating with the university as it has done since at least 2013. While Georgia Tech is now prohibited from exporting sensitive technologies to Tianjin University due to the Entity List’s prohibitions, it has collaborated with Tianjin University and at least one other PLA-linked entity on developing sensitive technologies."

The lawmakers continue: "Relatedly, it is not clear that Georgia Tech has fulsomely disclosed its funding for its broader Tianjin University initiatives. The Shenzhen government has allocated at least $250 million for the construction of the Georgia Tech Shenzhen Institute (GTSI) campus, signifying its importance to the PRC government. However, Georgia Tech does not appear to have reported that funding to the U.S. Department of Education, according to a review of public data."

To assess the damage done to American national security through Georgia Tech's partnership, the lawmakers request that Georgia Tech provide information regarding its relationship with the Chinese military-linked university, including information about funding, collaborations, and research partnerships.
To read the full letter, click here.
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