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Sen. Cruz in the Houston Chronicle: Good Riddance to the Houston Chinese Consulate

‘The most significant long-term foreign policy consequence of this global pandemic is that people on both sides of the political aisle are realizing what a threat communist China is to our national security’

July 30, 2020

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As a Houstonian and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says "good riddance" to the Chinese consulate in Houston following its closure last week. In his latest op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, Sen. Cruz outlines the overwhelming evidence behind the consulate's closure, which operated as a spy hub for the Chinese Communist Party, and highlights his efforts to counter China's espionage in Texas and across the country.

Detailing the evidence behind the closure, Sen. Cruz wrote:

"The Chinese government has not only worked to steal intellectual property from Texas medical institutions, it also works aggressively to infiltrate our universities, including through Confucius Institutes, which are campus cultural centers directly funded by the Chinese government, or through the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). That Foundation is a pseudo-philanthropic foundation which works with American universities by giving them money for exchanges and partnerships. These groups are the velvet glove around the Chinese government's iron fist."

He continued:

"The public evidence shows that the Chinese consulate in Houston was closed because it was used as a base for spying in Houston and throughout the Southwest. Moreover, these are just the facts in public. The Trump administration has mountains more evidence regarding the Chinese consulate in Houston, and I have privately and publicly urged top officials to make as much of it available to Americans and the world as possible."

Sen. Cruz concluded:

"For a long time in Washington, there were apologists for China in both parties. Politicians who denied the threat of Communist China and insisted that the path forward was getting more and more in bed with the Chinese government. China's behavior during the coronavirus pandemic has changed that perception, and I believe that the most significant long-term foreign policy consequence of this global pandemic is that people on both sides of the political aisle are realizing what a threat communist China is to our national security."

Read the full op-ed here. Sen. Cruz is leading the fight to fundamentally reassess the U.S.-China relationship and hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for covering up the coronavirus pandemic, committing human rights atrocities, and engaging in censorship, propaganda, and espionage in the United States. Learn more about Sen. Cruz's comprehensive push to counter Chinese censorship and propaganda here.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: Good Riddance to the Houston Chinese Consulate
Houston Chronicle
Sen. Cruz
July 30, 2020

Last week the Trump administration ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston to close, explaining through official channels and press statements that the consulate had functionally become a spy hub for the Chinese Communist Party. When asked about the order by a reporter, Cai Wei, the consul general of the consulate, demanded proof, saying that diplomats "have to speak the truth, you have to speak with facts," and "I know Americans call that the rule of law and you have that you are not guilty until proven guilty...where's the proof?"

Unfortunately for Consul General Cai Wei, proof abounds.

First, let's start with the State Department's evidence that the Chinese have engaged in espionage in Texas, working to steal information from the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Just last year, three Chinese scientists were forced to leave Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center because they had breached NIH policies and were most likely associated with China's "Thousand Talents" program, which was designed by the Chinese Communist Party to facilitate intellectual property theft in the sciences.

But it doesn't stop there. The Chinese government has not only worked to steal intellectual property from Texas medical institutions, it also works aggressively to infiltrate our universities, including through Confucius Institutes, which are campus cultural centers directly funded by the Chinese government, or through the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). That Foundation is a pseudo-philanthropic foundation which works with American universities by giving them money for exchanges and partnerships. These groups are the velvet glove around the Chinese government's iron fist.

They meddle with our curricula, silence criticism of the Chinese Communist regime, and - yes - engage in espionage and theft of intellectual property. They operate not just on college campuses but also in the K-12 space, pushing Chinese Communist Party propaganda on our children. Just a few years ago, I secured a bipartisan provision prohibiting the Department of Defense from funding Chinese language programs at schools that host Confucius Institutes, which was later signed into law by President Donald Trump as part of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Further, the State Department's order to close the Chinese consulate in Houston comes on the heels of the arrests of four Chinese researchers who were working as agents for the People's Liberation Army and lied it in order to obtain American visas. The Chinese consulate in San Francisco harbored one of the individuals for days in order to evade arrest. But these four researchers are just the tip of the iceberg - the FBI is investigating Chinese individuals who have committed visa fraud by lying about their affiliation with the Chinese military in 25 cities across the United States.

The public evidence shows that the Chinese consulate in Houston was closed because it was used as a base for spying in Houston and throughout the Southwest. Moreover, these are just the facts in public. The Trump administration has mountains more evidence regarding the Chinese consulate in Houston, and I have privately and publicly urged top officials to make as much of it available to Americans and the world as possible.

So my response to the consulate's closure is: Good riddance.

For years, I've worked hard in the Senate to make the case that China poses the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States in the next century. And this year, the Chinese government's censorship, lies and propaganda have been laid bare by their handling of the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan and has become a deadly global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 600,000 people worldwide.

For a long time in Washington, there were apologists for China in both parties. Politicians who denied the threat of Communist China and insisted that the path forward was getting more and more in bed with the Chinese government. China's behavior during the coronavirus pandemic has changed that perception, and I believe that the most significant long-term foreign policy consequence of this global pandemic is that people on both sides of the political aisle are realizing what a threat communist China is to our national security.

Cruz is a U.S. Senator for Texas and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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