Congress members accused China of trying to influence students in the United States

Chinese citizens make up a third of international students at American universities.

A group of Republican congressmen published a letter accusing China of trying to influence American students.

Leading Republicans on seven House committees sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, asking for information and accusing Beijing of funding American universities to spread the propaganda of the Chinese Communist party and limiting research on COVID-19, a disease caused by a new coronavirus.

The initiator of the letter, published on Monday, was Congressman Jim Jordan, the leading Republican on the oversight committee. The top Republicans also signed the message on education, armed services, homeland security, and science, intelligence, and foreign affairs committees.

China is the leader in the number of students sent to the United States to study. In 2018, about 370,000 Chinese students studied at American universities, which is one-third of the total international student body. They are an essential source of income for American colleges and universities.

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