At first blush, it may not seem that the Democrats’ $4.5 trillion infrastructure and spending plans and President Joe Biden’s bungled exit from Afghanistan have a nexus. But they do in China’s rare metals monopoly.
Beijing already dominates the rare metals market needed for electronics, electric car batteries and computers, a reality made more painfully obvious with the current computer chip shortage that is slowing production of new U.S. cars.
And now with the haphazard U.S. withdrawal from Kabul, one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of lithium — estimated by some at $1 trillion in Afghanistan — is poised to fall into China’s hands just as Biden has ordered that half all U.S. cars be electric by 2030 and congressional Democrats prepare to vote to invest tens of billions of dollars more to push that goal further.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced that his office will investigate the and the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University.
“The investigation is aimed at identifying and getting to the bottom of the true intent of any relationships between Valparaiso University’s programming and the Chinese Communist Party,” a statement from Rokita’s office reads.
Valparaiso, a private Lutheran institution, received $1.1 million from the Chinese government between 2010-2019 and acknowledges the Rokita’s investigation on its Confucius Institute website.
Song Guo Zheng, a former professor and researcher at Ohio State University, will spend 37 months in prison after being convicted of lying about his ties to the Chinese government on applications for NIH grant funding and failing to disclose his China ties to his employers. Zheng will also be required to pay roughly $413,000 to Ohio State University and $3.4 million to the National Institutes of Health.
“Zheng pleaded guilty last November and admitted he lied on applications in order to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from NIH to develop China’s expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology,” said the DOJ when it announced the sentencing.
Zheng’s teaching and scholarship were in the medical field, with emphasis on rheumatology and immunology at Ohio State University. Zheng’s researcher biography states that he has also taught at the University of Southern California and Penn State University.
In the latest example of the National Basketball Association (NBA) undergoing scrutiny due to its close ties with China, the organization has been revealed to be doing business with a shady Chinese company that has been accused of producing goods with forced labor from Uyghur Muslims, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Chinese company in question is Anta Sports, the largest sportswear brand in all of China. Anta specifically relies on cotton from the Xinjiang region of China, which also happens to be one of the major hubs of systematic incarceration, indoctrination, and forced labor for Uyghur Muslims. Together, the NBA and Anta sell at least two different kinds of basketball shoes, with one of the shoes selling for up to $120 per pair in the United States.
The Xinjiang region, however, has seen more than one million Uyghurs removed from their homes and sent to concentration camps, known as “reeducation camps,” and are forced to do manual labor on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other Chinese entities. Through such labor, Xinjiang produces approximately 85 percent of all cotton in China, and around 20 percent of the world’s supply of cotton.
President Joe Biden warned a bipartisan group of Senators Thursday that China “will eat our lunch” after speaking with Xi Jinping on Wednesday night, Reuters reported.
Biden discussed a range of issues with the Chinese leader, from “coercive and unfair” trade practices to reported human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong as well as Taiwan, Reuters reported. U.S. and Chinese leaders have not spoken in over 11 months with the last call occurring on March 27 under the Trump administration.
A professor at the University of Florida has been indicted on charges of wire fraud and failure to disclose his ties to China. The professor obtained a $1.75 million federal grant from the National Institutes of Health.
According to the Department of Justice, the professor, Lin Yang had not only received support from the Chinese government but also promoted his own company in China to conduct research “supported by millions of dollars of U.S. government funding.”