Following are excerpts from a Dec. 9 speech at Georgia Tech in Atlanta in which U.S. Secretary of State described how communist China is “poisoning the well” on American college campuses.
It’s important that I come here to talk about the topic that I have in front of us today because this is the place where American national security intersects deeply with the things that happen at important research institutions like this one.
I thought I’d start with a quick story, by way of explanation. Professor Fei-Ling Wang is with us here today. Professor, where – I didn’t see you sitting? Welcome. Nice to see you.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo / YouTube
Several years ago, Professor Wang took a trip to China where he was scooped up by security agents inside of China. He was held in a secret location for two weeks. Professor Wang was interrogated and threatened.
They wanted information about his research about China and his time teaching at my alma mater, West Point. He could tell you the stories better than I could. But they thought they could intimidate him or perhaps recruit him because he’s ethnically Chinese.
It’s a blessing he’s here with us today. And thankfully, he was released after pressure from the leadership of lots of places, including this very university and the Carter Center.
The lesson I think that we can take away from this is clear. It’s that the Chinese Communist Party wants what we have, and they will do whatever they must do to take it and get it. They will steal our stuff. They will pressure critics of the Chinese Communist Party to keep quiet. They will do whatever it takes.
And it’s important to come and talk with the American people about this because Americans must know how the Chinese Communist Party is poisoning the well of our higher education institutions for its own ends, and how those actions degrade our freedoms and American national security. If we don’t educate ourselves, if we’re not honest about what’s taking place, we’ll get schooled by Beijing.
Now, it’s taken this country and indeed, the entire free world, a long time to understand the trajectory that China is on today. In fact, we’re not quite there yet everywhere in the world.