The University of Texas at Austin, after months of pressure and protests, decided to decline funding from a far-left, communist organization that operates as a mouthpiece for the communist Chinese government regime.
The China Public Policy Center, a part of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, has been roiled in controversy since it initially opened in August 2017. The executive director of the policy center, David Firestein, initially proposed the University make the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) one of its primary supporters and donors.
CUSEF is headed by Tung Chee-Hwa, who has publicly put himself and the organization he heads on the side of the anti-democracy Chinese government. Chee-Hwa is also currently the vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which ultimately works to manage foreign influence operations.
UT is not the first school to be targeted by Chee-Hwa and his organization’s anti-American worldview. Several other schools and research institutions across the nation, including Johns Hopkins University and the Brookings Institution, have collaborated with CUSEF, or received funding from it.
UT spent months contemplating whether or not to take the funding from the organization, and at one point, hosted an event co-sponsored by CUSEF. However, after months of internal pressure from faculty, and a letter from Senator Ted Cruz addressed to Chancellor William McRaven and University President Greg Fenves, the university decided to decline any further funding or interaction.
In his letter, Cruz shared his concern that CUSEF would “disseminate PRC [People’s Republic of China] propaganda within the Center [China Public Policy Center] and compromise its credibility.”
President Fenves finally cracked to the external pressure, and in a response to Senator Cruz stated that the University had already decided not to take “programmatic funding” from CUSEF. However, after consultation with experts on the matter, Fenves decided to cut ties with CUSEF altogether.
Cruz has helped to show that the state of Texas and its flagship university stand united against the People Republic of China’s anti-human rights regime, and has set an example for other universities and organizations around the world.

Austin Goss

Austin Goss is the Capitol Correspondent for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Austin is a Christian, soldier in the United States Army Reserves, and a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Austin on Twitter @AG_Legacy