America’s universities have been slow in coming to terms with the problems posed by Chinese influence. They are now finally beginning to work with the national security community to respond to China’s attempts to infiltrate the United States’ higher-education system and abuse those relationships to advance Beijing’s strategic agenda. But that pushback is just beginning.
On Wednesday, two major universities independently took steps to disentangle their co-operation with Chinese entities. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced it would end all collaboration with Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE. Both firms stand accused by the U.S. government of sanctions-busting, and the U.S. intelligence community believes both are susceptible to Chinese government influence.