Lawmakers are investigating a New York university that received a million-dollar Pentagon grant for missile research it conducts alongside an institution with ties to the Chinese military.
The House Select Committee on China is investigating Alfred University’s partnership with China’s University of Geosciences in Wuhan, which conducts classified military research for China’s army. The Department of Defense recently awarded Alfred University $13.5 million to study hypersonic missiles. Because the University of Geosciences “performs similar research” for China’s People’s Liberations Army (PLA), lawmakers say Alfred risks exposing sensitive military information to Beijing.
“You are conducting advanced, hypersonic weapons-related research while actively partnering with a Chinese university that performs similar research for the PLA,” the House Select Committee on China wrote in a Wednesday letter to Alfred University president Mark Zupan, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “It is vital to U.S. national interests that sensitive military research is safeguarded from our foreign adversaries.”
The investigation marks the opening salvo in the House Select Committee on China’s larger drive to protect sensitive research from falling into China’s hands, according to committee sources briefed on the matter. Congressional investigators are examining a host of American universities that maintain ties to China while also working on Pentagon projects. Stanford University, for instance, has accepted more than $27 million from Chinese donors since the beginning of 2021, while also performing sensitive research for the Pentagon.
The grant is of particular concern to the House committee due to its focus on hypersonic missiles, an advanced military technology in which China has been heavily investing. Lawmakers are concerned that this sensitive research project is susceptible to the Communist regime’s espionage operations, which are known to target American universities engaged in sensitive military projects.