NDAA Language Addresses Concerns Introduced by Rep. Banks’ Protect Our Universities Act

WASHINGTON – Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) celebrated the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) inclusion of language he submitted addressing concerns from legislation Rep. Banks authored, H.R. 1678, the Protect Our Universities Act. The purpose of Protect Our Universities Act was to safeguard sensitive research at universities from foreign espionage.

The language Rep. Banks submitted and included in this year’s NDAA directs the Department of Defense to collect background information on anyone participating in Department-funded research. This procedure would especially apply to foreign nationals, from countries like China and Russia, as a means to ensure access to fundamental national security research is further safeguarded. That language can be found in sec. 1281 of the NDAA.

“The Chinese government has a long record of manipulating and pressuring Chinese nationals who study at American universities to be information collectors for the communist government and military in Beijing,” said Rep. Jim Banks. “I am glad we’ve become more vigilant in protecting Department of Defense research from Chinese espionage.”

In one infamous case reported by NBC, a Chinese student enrolled at Duke University stole American research on “metamaterials” and brought it back to China. “Metamaterials” can be used to make objects invisible to microwave signals, a significant scientific development with national security implications. The student went on to found a tech company now valued at $6 billion and enjoys regular visits from President Xi. Some believe that the student was on a mission from the Chinese government to steal American intellectual property.

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