US Lawmakers have warned the Pentagon about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) acquiring military training academies in the US, reported The Washington Free Beacon.
This is considered alarming as the future army cadets trained in these CCP-influenced military schools could have a soft side for China's strategies and aims, reported The Washington Free Beacon.
The report claims that in 2015 the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference a political advisory board for the CCP purchased New York Military Academy for USD 16 million dollars after a bidding war with another Chinese conglomerate.
In 2017 a Chinese education conglomerate purchased the Florida Preparatory Academy reportedly to create a global educational alliance system. Both of these military academies Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) and train military officers for the US army.
A member of the House Armed Services Committee and also a part of the US army Michael Waltz was quoted in the report by Chuck Ross for Washington Free Beacon saying that "Chinese ownership of these schools could pose a national security threat".
"To the extent that those private schools have JROTC programs that are forming the backbone of the future leaders of our military, this is something I would hope and would expect the US Defense Department would work with me to better understand," Waltz told the Washington Free Beacon.
Waltz also wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging the Pentagon to survey JROTC programs at private schools across the country to see if they are foreign-owned.
In the letter, he mentioned that "With the ongoing military recruitment crisis, I am concerned that any students we recruit into the service from these CCP-influenced schools will have a sympathetic view of China's political and strategic aims".
The report by Ross also claimed that these purchases of the US military academies have raised concerns about CCP's motives, as it has already increased its efforts of infiltration of American universities, think tanks, and other spheres of influence.
According to a federal spending database, the Department of Defense has awarded over USD 4,75,000 in contracts for various cadet programs to New York Military Academy since its Chinese takeover.
A company named Fang Holdings that has majority holdings in New York Military Academy is owned by Mo Fang which has ties with the CCP. In 2018, Mo said he was "very honoured" to be a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which he affirmed operates "under the leadership of the Communist Party of China". At the New York Military Academy, Mo has installed many of his Chinese business partners on the historic school's board of trustees.
China's Newopen Group owner of the Florida Preparatory Academy since 2017. A year prior to this purchase it had signed a strategic partnership with Chongqing Environmental Investment Group, a CCP-linked municipal agency. This was to build a network across China, North America, Europe, and Australia, the report claimed.
The same report from Ross also mentioned that both of these schools purchased by CCP have not responded to the request to respond on the matter.
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