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Belgian University Closes the Door to Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Institute

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Taiwan News reported that Belgian research university Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) announced on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 it will cease its partnership with the Chinese Communist Party-backed Confucius Institute next year after its contract expires in June 2020.

VUB has joined other European universities in breaking ties with the Confucius Institute. The Belgian university is following the actions of Leiden University, Stockholm University, University of Lyon, Stuttgart Media University, and University of Hohenheim, according to CNA.

CNA reports that the decision was made during a board meeting and it was done under the belief that collaboration was no longer in the school’s best interests. However, VUB emphasized that it would embrace future partnerships with universities and academics from China “as long as academic freedom and independence” are guaranteed, it declared in a statement.

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VUB President Caroline Pauwels stated there must be respect for research freedom but the Confucius Institute appeared to not have met this requirement. Although the university supports international cooperation, she noted that it would instead focus on investing in young talent rather than “political regimes.”

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The former dean of the VUB Confucius Institute had previously been denied the ability to enter Belgium because of espionage allegations. According to CNA, Beijing refuted these claims, describing them as ungrounded and with ulterior motives.

Confucius Institutes serve as global propaganda machines that serve Chinese interests. The Washington Post reported back in January at least 10 of these institutes have been closed at American universities after China has recently come under fire for its human rights records.

Despite the closure of this Confucius Institute in Belgium, there are still many of these institutes open on U.S. universities such as Stanford University, UCLA, and Columbia University. China’s authoritarianism of the past still lives on through its expansionist foreign policy that is very dependent on soft power.

For national security purposes and the sake of containing CCP influence in America, more American universities should shut their doors to the Confucius Institute.

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U.S. Law Enforcement Bust 27 People Connected to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

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Over two dozen people were arrested on drug charges in connection to a Mexican cartel smuggling cocaine into the U.S. Following a two-year investigation, 27 people were arrested through Operation Tripwire, an investigation effort U.S. officials have been working on featuring members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The trafficking network went from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cocaine originating from Mexico was smuggled stateside. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady declared “this is a large organization that was trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the country and has direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.”

U.S. authorities recounted that the investigations started after an agent in Pittsburgh was able to identify an address that received large quantities of suspicious-looking packages coming from California. Since then, agents started to do investigation on other members of the network across the U.S.

Across the span of seven months, authorities were able to intercept U.S. calls made by some of the alleged traffickers with Sinaloa carte leaders in Mexico. On September 9, 2020, 27 were arrested in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.

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According to American authorities, $1.3 million in cash and over 140 kilograms of cocaine were seized. The aforementioned people arrested are now facing a prison sentence of between 10 years and life in prison.

The border situation is no joke. Prior administrations have largely neglected the issue and have allowed for unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking to cross the U.S. border.

In a prior instance, BLP reported on how Mexico is a failed state that cannot maintain public order and is largely being pushed around by cartels. Due to its proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s problems will likely spillover stateside.

This is why border security is crucial. Thankfully, the U.S. has a president in Donald Trump that gets the memo. He’ll still need help from Congress, however,

That’s why it’s crucial that America First Republicans have strong showings at all branches of government in 2020.

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