Biden Outsources Critical China Report To Undergrads

The Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday that the Biden administration’s State Department has turned to an unlikely source for the authorship of a critical report on the threats posed by Communist China. Instead of relying on seasoned experts, the report was drafted by six undergraduate students from James Madison University in a decision that signals a lackadaisical approach to a grave national security issue.

Under the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the State Department was mandated to analyze the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) efforts to censor and intimidate Americans. This task, reflecting the bipartisan concerns in Congress over China’s propaganda and coercive tactics within the United States, was then outsourced to college undergraduates. The report comes with a disclaimer stating it does not represent the administration’s views, further muddying its significance and credibility.

The involvement of undergraduate students in such a high-stakes national security matter is unprecedented and has drawn sharp criticism from key political figures. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “This report confirms, again, that the Biden administration is simply unserious about confronting the full range of threats posed by the CCP.” He further criticized the move as the “opposite of adults being back in charge.”

Senator Cruz’s concerns are not without merit. The CCP is known to invest billions in propaganda and censorship to control what Americans see, hear, and ultimately think, posing a significant national security risk. 

The State Department’s decision to delegate this task to James Madison University as part of the Diplomacy Lab Project raises questions about the depth and rigor of the analysis. The department’s spokesperson confirmed they did not play any role in producing the analysis or guiding its content, further distancing the administration from the report’s findings.

The report’s content, focusing on China’s censorship and intimidation tactics against U.S. citizens and businesses, includes policy recommendations for Congress. While these suggestions, such as laws to protect consumer data on social media and policies supporting American companies in China, are relevant, their origin from undergraduates rather than seasoned experts casts doubt on their feasibility and depth.

The selection of college students studying political science or international affairs, with only one specializing in China-related coursework, points out the casual approach by the Biden White House to an honest and thorough assessment of the Chinese communist threat.

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