One of Biden’s picks to fill a top defense post has questionable ties to China and it is raising concerns.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
Colin Kahl, whom Biden tapped for undersecretary of defense for policy, has served as a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University since the beginning of 2018. The institute oversees the Stanford Center at Peking University in northern Beijing, which opened in 2012.
Peking University, which is run by former Beijing spy chief Qiu Shuiping and has been linked to multiple espionage cases in the United States, recently updated its charter to require loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, according to an NPR report. The school has also been ramping up its student and faculty surveillance system in what China watchers see as part of the government’s broader crackdown on independent scholarship.
Kahl is not the first Biden nominee whose employer has business entanglements in China. Biden’s pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, cofounded the consulting firm WestExec, which helped U.S. universities raise money from China without running afoul of Pentagon grant requirements, the Washington Free Beacon reported last month. WestExec scrubbed the details of this work from its website over the summer.
The association could be an obstacle for Kahl, who will need Senate confirmation. Congressional Republicans and federal law-enforcement agencies have expressed growing concerns about China’s attempts to influence American academics through university partnerships and donations. Last year, the Department of Justice charged at least 17 academics affiliated with U.S. universities with secretly working for China, including one medical researcher at Stanford University.
The University has been viewed as a security threat by western intelligence agencies for a long time.