Campus Reform | Tom Cotton introduces 'SECURE CAMPUS Act' to stop Chinese spying at universities

Tom Cotton introduces 'SECURE CAMPUS Act' to stop Chinese spying at universities

Sen. Tom Cotton introduced a bill to prevent Chinese spying on American college campuses.

The bill would stop Chinese students from studying STEM fields at American universities and prevent Chinese nationals from receiving federal research dollars.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced a bill to stop the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from conducting espionage on American college campuses.

According to a press release from his office, Sen. Cotton re-introduced the “SECURE CAMPUS Act” on April 22. The bill would “prohibit Chinese nationals from receiving visas to the United States for graduate or post-graduate studies in STEM fields and would ban participants in China’s foreign talent recruitment programs and Chinese nationals from taking part in federally-funded STEM research.”

Sen. Cotton remarked that “Allowing China unfettered access to American research institutions is akin to granting Soviet scientists access to our critical laboratories during the Cold War.”

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“We shouldn’t allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit the openness of American research institutions any longer,” he added in the press release. “The SECURE CAMPUS Act will help stop Chinese nationals from stealing U.S. technology, which the CCP uses against our own troops and businesses.”

“It is time we put an end to China’s abuse and ensure our intellectual property remains secured. I am proud to re-introduce this legislation with Senator Cotton," said Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), who introduced companion legislation in the House.

The bill text says that the Secretary of Homeland Security may not admit to the United States “an alien who is a citizen of the People’s Republic of China if the Secretary of State determines that the alien seeks to enter the United States to participate in graduate-level or post-graduate-level coursework or academic research in a field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at an institution of higher education.”

[RELATED: A Stanford researcher was recently indicted for China ties. As new China center opens, has Stanford learned its lesson?]

The regulation may be waived if the applicant is “a member of a religious or ethnic group that is systematically oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party.” The bill would likewise not apply to citizens of Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Likewise, the legislation would disallow citizens of the People’s Republic of China or participants in a “foreign talent recruitment problem” from applying for federal research grants. Upon passage, the Secretary of State would assemble a comprehensive list of Chinese foreign talent recruitment programs in the federal register.

Campus Reform has reported frequently on Chinese professors illegally using federal research dollars to benefit the Chinese Communist Party.

Most recently, a mathematics professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale was indicted for failing to disclose his intention to earn Chinese government grant money while applying for National Science Foundation funding.

[RELATED: Yet another professor indicted for receiving secret support from China]

Campus Reform reached out to Cotton and Kustoff for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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