Millions of dollars in Ford grants have been put towards Chinese education programs, including those in Xinjiang. During the summer of 2020, the Ford Foundation received significant scrutiny for the large grants it gave the Black Lives Matter activists rioting and looting in cities across America. That violence cost American municipalities and business owners more than $1 billion in property damage, and questions still remain about where the money given by the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic groups to BLM has actually gone.
The cultural revolutionaries in our streets and institutions are not the only ideological force without transparency that Ford has associated itself with and poured money into. In September of last year, The American Conservative shone a spotlight on the Ford Foundations deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Since 1979, the massive foundation has been one of the only foreign charities allowed in China, and that previous TAC feature demonstrated how Ford is actively assisting the Chinese government in exporting their communist values elsewhere.
But a thorough examination of public disclosures suggests that Fords funding of Chinese operations goes far beyond economic development and foreign influence. According to the foundations website, Ford has given $41.8 million to education projects in China over the past 15 years. Buried in a report reviewing the Ford Foundations grant making in education and culture in China from 2001 to 2016 is a disclosure that the foundation provided grants to an educational entity known as the Horizon Education Center of China to fund education reform in Xinjiang.
Dating back to 2009, Horizon has been working on a vocational education reform program in Xinjiang. According to a BBC report, talk of “vocational education and training” programs in Xinjiang is Chinese Communist Party propaganda for the re-education camps for Uyghur Muslims, which are alleged to be full of human rights abuses. These detention centers were constructed following riots in 2009 by Uyghur Muslims and ethnic clashes between Uyghur and Han Chinese residents of Xinjiang. The coercive measures escalated when terrorist attacks by Uyghur separatists lead to the deaths of dozens in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Towards the end of the Trump presidency, Secretary of State Pompeo officially declared the situation in Xinjiang a genocide, a decision that has not been overturned by the Biden administration.
The man who oversaw millions of dollars in grants from Ford to Chinese educational entities until his departure from their Beijing office in 2016 was He Jin, who retired from the Ford Foundation to teach at the China Global Philanthropy Institute. The Stanford-educated China native is no longer listed on the CGPI website, but his name is included in event invitations as recently as 2019. Ma Weihua, the chairman of CGPIs board, was a high ranking CCP bureaucrat and economist before joining the philanthropic project, which is backed by numerous business tycoons, including Bill Gates and Ray Dalio. The institutes president is Wang Zhenyao, who formerly served as the dean of the Beijing Normal Universitys Philanthropy Research Institute.
Beijing Normal University is one of numerous CCP backed universities to receive Ford Foundation grants in the last decade. In order to help China develop a world class university system of its own, the Ford Foundation has poured millions of dollars into elite Chinese research universities such as Peking University, Renmin University of China, Shaanxi Normal University, Nanjing University, Tianjin University, and Guizhou University. All of these educational institutions are overseen by the CCPs Ministry of Education, which regulates all schooling in China to ensure students are being indoctrinated with the appropriate propaganda. The Party School of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the higher education institute specifically designed to train CCP cadres, also received hundreds of thousands in grant money from the Ford Foundation as recently as 2010. Now instead of funding the Party School directly, Ford gives money to the F.Y. Chang Foundation, which is closely tied to the Chinese Communist Party.
Another educational initiative funded by the Ford Foundation was the 100,000 strong campaign promoted during the Obama administration by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who strongly backed the 2012 effort to get 100,000 American students studying in China by 2014. The goal of the initiative was fostering people-to-people exchange and understanding between the United States and China. Little did the previous Democratic administration know that Chinese spies posing as students would begin infiltrating the highest ranks of their party soon after the State Department-backed Ford Foundation program began. To this day, Democrats and their supporters appear woefully unprepared to address the vast network of Chinese espionage infiltrating American power centers.
As thousands of American dollars go towards universities teaching Chinese propaganda, the CCP has continued making its presence known with Confucius Institutes in universities across the United States. On top of that, the Chinese Communist Party has begun using the woke ideology supported by Black Lives Matter and many American universities to further its global ambitions. Back in late February, the Global Times, a CCP controlled news outlet, declared that the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance was racist for putting pressure on China. They may have learned that technique from the Democrats. The accusations of bigotry following Trumps travel ban in the early days of COVID showed our greatest geopolitical rival that baseless chants of racism may serve as the best way to stifle foreign dissent about the danger China poses.
If the Democratic party, corporate America, large charitable organizations, the entertainment industry, and massive American universities continue to aid Chinas rise through money and propaganda, the elites whose hatred for their countrymen has become abundantly clear will be in for another Trump-sized shock to the political system soon enough.
James Lynch is an editorial intern with The American Conservative and a research & production intern with The Realignment Podcast. He is currently studying Political Science at the University of Notre Dame with graduation expected in May 2021. Contact him via twitter @jameslynch32