The University of Pennsylvania, where President Biden’s think tank, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, is located, has seen a significant increase in donations from China, according to records reviewed by Fox News Digital. The university, which has faced scrutiny over Chinese donations following the discovery of confidential documents at the Biden Center, reportedly tripled its contributions from China in the most recent reporting period. Americans for Public Trust (APT) obtained records showing that the university received $25 million in contributions from China between mid-2022 and mid-2023, compared to $8.6 million in the previous period.
Caitlin Sutherland, APT’s executive director, expressed concern over the surge in Chinese donations, stating that it signals the growing influence of foreign powers on U.S. educational institutions. Sutherland criticized the Biden administration for projecting weakness on the global stage and allowing universities to become instruments of foreign influence. The records obtained from Pennsylvania’s Department of Education reveal that the University of Pennsylvania has collected nearly $130 million in Chinese donations between mid-2018 and mid-2023.
Several Chinese contributors to the university have ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). One donor, Chung-nin Rock Chen, who made three donations totaling $205,000, serves as the Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress and is a member of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The CPPCC is considered a key mechanism for political consultation under the CCP’s leadership. Another major donor, Kathy Xu, founder of Capital Today, donated at least $10 million in December 2022. Capital Today has connections to Meituan Dianping, a Chinese internet company with ties to the CCP.
RemeGen Co., Ltd., a Chinese biopharmaceutical company, paid $170,550 to the University of Pennsylvania in July 2022. Dr. Jianmin Fang, the executive director and CEO of Remegen, was recognized as a “National Distinguished Expert” by the CCP’s organization department. Weidong Wang, the executive director and chairman of the Remegen board, has CCP ties, having served as the “deputy to the 13th National People’s Congress” and the “deputy to the 14th National People’s Congress since 2023.”
The University of Pennsylvania’s ties to China have raised questions about potential foreign influence, especially considering its association with President Biden’s think tank. Critics argue that these donations may compromise the independence of educational institutions and pose risks to national security. Despite concerns, the university has maintained that the Penn Biden Center has not solicited or received gifts from any Chinese or foreign entity. The institution claims full compliance with federal reporting requirements for foreign gifts and contracts.