China and U.S. have never an ideal relationship. In recent years, the tension between Beijing and Washington have only escalated particularly trade has been a troubling factor between the two mega-economies of the world. Nonetheless, it appears the countries do prefer actual gifts over empty-case diplomacy.
Since 2013 China has ‘gifted’ U.S. universities almost $1 billion. It should not be therefore, shocking to know that Harvard receives the biggest chunk with the Ivy League scoring some $93 million.
According to Al-Jazeera’s report, in n the past six and a half years about 115 universities have received monetary gifts from sources in mainland China. Following close in the footsteps of Harvard, The University of Southern California and University of Pennsylvania also graciously accepted gifts from the Chinese givers in the last few years.
Even though trade tensions are at an all-time high between U.S. and China, yet the campus life of Chinese students is apparently thriving in the U.S. schools. On one hand where Chinese students are enjoying life at U.S. campuses, their host country’s presidents seems to have no qualms criticizing, ostracizing China every opportunity he receives. As per reports, Trump told reporters at a press conference in September while discussing trade with Australian prime minister, “China is a threat to the world in a sense, because they’re building a military faster than anybody and, frankly, they’re using U.S. money”.
However, the U.S. authorities have started expressing concern over Chinese intelligence and involvement in their universities. The constant influx of Chinese students has begun threatening not only the U.S. but also renowned institutions like Oxford University, UK has also stopped accepting research funding from Chinese tech-giant Huawei telecommunications.
U.S. officials feel that it isn’t the Ivy League’s they fear for but smaller institution with fewer resources, receiving contacts from the Chinese could impact their partiality when teaching about that country.
On the hand, the universities feel that authority probe into philanthropic funding and contracts can be invasive to the anonymity of private givers.
China albeit, is not the only country giving monetary gifts to U.S. universities. Qatar remains the most generous giver with $1.8 billion, followed closely by U.K. at $1.1 billion.