The Chinese government has spent the last several years developing soft power and influence capabilities. Like many other countries, this effort includes investing in schools. Schools are ideal platforms for propaganda dissemination. China has established Confucius Institutes around the world. The China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) has the benign mission of “facilitating open and constructive exchange among policy-makers, business leaders, academics, think-tanks, cultural figures, and educators”.
Last year, the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs established a China Public Policy Center (CPPC). It is worthwhile to note that UT Austin was once a leading provider of graduate education to National Security professionals and that the system’s chancellor is Special Operations legend, Admiral McRaven. Given UT Austin’s standing and reputation, it is no surprise that the CUSEF intended to fund and sponsor the CPPC. Luckily, faculty, staff, and Senator Ted Cruz intervened.
After a months-long investigation the university has rejected any involvement by the CUSEF. It turns out, the CUSEF is actually a state-directed front conducting Maoist Influence Activities. Rejecting Communist funding is a bold first step for an American university and American counter-influence efforts in general.
For more about Influence Activities of Communist origin, see Jack Murphy’s piece on Reflexive Control.
Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia