U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has filed legislation to prohibit the Department of Defense from establishing Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) at private schools controlled by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Chinese Communist Party (CCP), or the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The act is entitled “Deterring Egregious State Infiltration of Schools’ Training,” or the DESIST Act.

In 2017, Cruz passed legislation that prevents the Department of Defense from funding Confucius Institutes—cultural institutes and schools directly or indirectly funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of State designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (the network’s headquarters) as a foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China.

Public policy organizations have since suggested the U.S. prioritize defending U.S. academic and military institutions from CCP influence, including stopping CCP-led ROTC programs.

The Center for Immigration Studies previously reported on the phenomenon of Chinese private equity firms and Chinese education companies purchasing American private schools after China Daily wrote an article entitled “China Investors Warm Up to Private Schools.”

A slew of lawmakers have since spoken up, including Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (R-OK), who demanded answers from the Biden administration for allowing Primavera Capital Group, a Chinese organization, to purchase an online tutoring service contracted with K-12 schools and the U.S. military.

“The Chinese Communist Party wants to control everything Americans see, hear, and ultimately think,” Cruz said.

They have used Confucius Institutes to target college campuses across America, and I passed legislation in 2017 to deny Defense Department funding to schools that hosted Confucius Institutes, which ultimately got rid of most of them. Today, they are using other methods to target the next generation of Americans, and the DESIST Act is an important step in continuing our effort to combat the CCP’s influence whenever it appears in our schools.

Texas Scorecard has chronicled the threat of Chinese communist influence in Texas in a special investigative series.

Valerie Muñoz

Valerie Muñoz is a native South Texan and student at Texas A&M University, where she studies journalism. She is passionate about delivering clear and comprehensive news to Texans.