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06/13/2022 Source:  South China Morning Post
Author: Phelim Kine 1 min read

Congress targets Harvard, Yale and top universities with China-linked endowments

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A view of a gate to Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University. | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
A view of a gate to Harvard Yard on the campus of Harvard University. | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A new bill from Republican Greg Murphy is pushing divestment from firms linked to rights abuses, security risks.

Congress first targeted U.S. universities’ Chinese state-backed Confucius Institutes, then their academic partnerships with China.

Now, some in Congress are preparing to go after America’s top institutions of higher learning and their enormous endowments in potentially problematic Chinese companies.

Murphy’s initiative echoes the efforts of Keith Krach, former under secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, who urged university governing boards in 2020 to disclose details of endowment investments in Chinese firms and to divest from those on the Commerce Department’s Entity List or linked to human rights abuses. Universities ignored Krach’s advice.

“I’m old enough to know about the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa … [and] the divestment movement that got started at Berkeley and then spread through campuses,” Krach said. “I really wanted [my divestment proposal] to be kind of a catalyst to create a movement … there’s nothing that can be more effective and have more passion and ground forces than students.”

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