Rep. Mike Waltz (Republican from Florida) has raised alarm over a disturbing trend in which companies with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party are buying up U.S. military academies, including that attended by Donald Trump as a teenager.
Waltz wrote to Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense, asking that the Department of Defense examine all Army, Navy, and Air Force JROTC programs in private schools in the country. This was in response to concerns that these acquisitions could be part of China’s Belt & Road Initiative to expand its influence in the United States education system.
Waltz said in a press release:
It is extremely concerning that American private schools are owned by Chinese Communist Party-linked companies. There is evidence from Florida to New York that these schools are owned by our greatest enemy. It’s absurd that we are training future military leaders through JROTC programs, where the CCP could influence school curricula and activities.
In his letter to Austin Waltz mentions two examples. The first is Florida Preparatory Academy. It is located on Florida’s Space Coast. It houses an Air Force ROTC Program. Newopen USA purchased it in 2017. It is a subsidiary company of Newopen Group. This China-based company describes itself as the “most influential and valuable education group” in China.
Another example is the New York Military Academy. It runs an Army JROTC Program and is just 6 miles from West Point. The school was founded in 1889 by a Civil War veteran. It was bought by the Research Center on Natural Conservation in 2015. Funded by Fang Holdings Ltd, it is now controlled by Mo Tianquan. Waltz’s letter noted that Mo Tianquan was a 2013 delegate to China People’s Political Consultative Conference. This body was convened by CCP as part of its wider United Front work. Stephen Sondheim and Donald Trump are all notable alumni of the New York Military Academy.
From Florida to New York, there’s clear evidence the Chinese Communist Party’s buying up private schools just like our farmland.
Some of the schools have JROTC programs and others are tech-focused. We must ensure our children are NOT being shaped by CCP-influenced curricula. https://t.co/yXLGTKQJ8L
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) January 31, 2023
Waltz asked Secretary Austin to immediately investigate school purchases and respond “in preparation for the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act.”
Waltz appears to be doing on a national basis what many Republicans, including Ron DeSantis, are trying to do at the state level: Eliminating any influence China or the CCP have over the U.S. DeSantis addressed the recent trend of Chinese investors “gobbling-up land” in the Sunshine State. He spoke out against China’s purchase and sale of farmland and residential properties, pointing to the Marxist-Leninist turn of Xi Jinping, his CCP President.
Waltz, for his part, is determined to find answers and tell the Free Beacon.
“To the extent these private schools have junior ROTC programs that are forming our future leaders of the military, I would hope that the Defense Department would collaborate with me to better understand this.”
Secretary Austin has not yet responded to Rep. Waltz’s request.