Government Watchdog Raises Questions About Chinese Influence at Penn Biden Center

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Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Chuck Hagel Forum in Global Leadership, on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

There’s been a lot of discussion about potential conflicts of interest concerning Joe Biden and Ukraine because of the position his son had on a Ukrainian board. There’s also been some discussion about Hunter’s position on a board connected to the government of China.

But Hunter is not the only question Joe Biden has regarding China.

This past week, the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Department of Education regarding the University of Pennsylvania and Joe Biden asking for an investigation into the funding at the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Biden Center.

After Biden left the Obama Administration, he helped found several organizations including the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, the Biden Cancer Initiative and the Penn Biden Center. They all have refused to reveal how they are funded, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Asked about its funding, a spokesman for the Biden Center told the Washington Free Beacon that it is “a question for my colleagues at main university.” Penn spokesman Stephen MacCarthy did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Biden campaign declined to comment. The Biden Cancer Initiative, which had $2.1 million in total assets in 2018 before suspending its operations last year, according to its tax records, declined to provide a list of donors. The Biden Institute at the University of Delaware has also declined to reveal its funders.


Between March 2017 and the end of 2019, the University of Pennsylvania received a total of $61 million in gifts and contracts from China, 21 million of which was in “anonymous gifts.” According to Michael Sobolik, who is an Indo-Pacific Studies fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, anonymous gifts are a way for the CCP to insinuate its influence into college campuses.

The donations included a $502,750 “monetary gift” in October 2017 from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, a Chinese government agency that helps administer the regime’s “Thousand Talents Plan.” Federal prosecutors claim the program is linked to Chinese espionage operations at American universities and have prosecuted academics for hiding their involvement in it. Other contributors included China’s Zhejiang University, the China Merchants Bank, and the China Everbright Group, a state-owned investment group, according to federal records.

That’s not all.

The Biden Center is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s “Penn Global” department, headed by Biden’s campaign health care adviser Ezekiel Emanuel, which handles the university’s foreign research and outreach programs.

Those programs have become increasingly focused on China in recent years. According to the Penn Global website, the university has “over 20 international partnerships with Chinese institutions” and has conducted “over 350 research projects and instructional activities in China.”


The complaint filed by the NLPC said all of this raises questions about foreign influence from China similar to the questions raised by the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton.

According to the NLPC this also raises potential problems if the school didn’t disclose the sources. This raises a lot of questions because of Biden’s connections to the Center as well as some of Biden’s primary advisers being involved with the Center as well.

“The reporting and disclosure violations of gifts from China to U of Penn and its Penn Biden Center are both numerous and flagrant,” said Paul Kamenar, counsel for NLPC. “The Department of Justice should take swift enforcement action in federal court and recoup all costs getting them to comply with the law.”


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