Florida Republican Representative Mike Waltz has highlighted concerns about the possible threat to national security presented by private schools in the United States with financial ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Waltz, the top member of the Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on preparedness, requested an assessment of all Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs to detect instances of foreign financing in a letter submitted to the Department of Defense (DOD) on Tuesday.
From Florida to New York, there’s clear evidence the Chinese Communist Party’s buying up private schools just like our farmland.
Some of the schools have JROTC programs and others are tech-focused. We must ensure our children are NOT being shaped by CCP-influenced curricula. https://t.co/yXLGTKQJ8L
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) January 31, 2023
The representative highlighted evidence that Chinese firms and subsidiaries had invested in private schools around the nation, including those with JROTC programs. The Florida Preparatory Academy in Melbourne, Florida conducts an Air Force JROTC program, and Newopen, USA, a part of China’s Chongqing-based Newopen Education Group, acquired the school in 2017. Zhou Dengguang, chairman of Newopen Group, is said to have links to the Chinese Communist Party and to have counseled its secretary general on national strategic development and resource cooperation.
Waltz also cited the 2015 bankruptcy sale of the New York Military Academy to investors from China. The Research Center on Natural Conservation, supported by SouFun Holdings Ltd. of China, invested $15.83 million towards the school. Mo Tianquan, the former CEO of Fang Holdings and its current top shareholder, is a part of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and vice chairman of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG). The United Front Work Group was recognized as a vehicle of China’s foreign influence apparatus by the Economic Review Commission and U.S. China Security in 2018.
Waltz is concerned about the possible consequences of granting the CCP direct power over the curriculum and students of these schools. He expressed concern that students recruited into the military from schools influenced by the CCP may have a favorable view of the political and strategic goals of China. He said that, given the current military recruiting issue, this might pose a significant threat to national security.
The DOD has yet to respond to Waltz’s request for a survey of all JROTC programs. It is unclear what steps will be taken to address this issue or how long it will take for any action to be taken. However, it is clear that Waltz is taking steps to ensure that American students are not being exposed to potential foreign influence in their education and that national security risks are minimized.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller