Some Virginia State Colleges and Universities Host Chinese Government Student Control Organizations

by James C. Sherlock

Courtesy U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission

Virginia Tech’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association

is the largest international student society at Virginia Tech, with more than 1,000 Chinese students and scholars and their families. It is also one of the largest Chinese student and scholars organizations in the United States. [Go to link and click “translate” in URL window.]

Good to know.

More than 350,000 students from mainland China out of about 1 million total international students are enrolled in America’s colleges and universities in 2023.

The financial incentives for the schools are huge.

All of those students pay full-sticker out-of-state tuition as well as room, board and student fees – $58,750 annually for undergraduates.  So Tech realizes about $60 million for its full-time Chinese Hokies.  That does not include summer students, another big program.

In associated programs, Chinese universities provide Mandarin language instructors to American faculties and accept U.S. students.

But the institutions who accept Chinese Student and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) know they monitor and control Chinese students and spread the official dogma of the Chinese state to their campuses.

The Chinese don’t even try to make it a secret.

CSSAs have closed at UVa, VCU, James Madison and George Mason without apparent effect on their Chinese student inputs.

Yet Virginia Tech, William and Mary, and ODU continue to host them.

It makes no sense.

The U.S. – China Security Review Commission, an agency of the U.S. government, exposed the work of CSSAs in August of 2018.

they receive guidance from the CCP through Chinese embassies and consulates—governmental ties CSSAs frequently attempt to conceal—and are active in
carrying out overseas Chinese work consistent with Beijing’s United Front strategy.

Journalists and activists have also shown CSSAs to routinely coordinate with the Chinese government and to have been involved in the suppression of free speech and the harassment, intimidation, and surveillance of Chinese student activists.

One of the news articles to which that report referred was The New York Times 2017, On Campuses Far From China, Still Under Beijing’s Watchful Eye.”

Much like the Confucius Institutes run by the Ministry of Education, CSSAs were relatively more benign before Xi Jinping took total control in China in 2012.

Since then, they have become the threat to Chinese students, American universities and American society that Xi intends them to be.

An article in The Atlantic titled, “The Moral Hazard of Dealing With China,” led with the statement

Academic institutions must grapple with the question of when engagement becomes complicity.

That advice is forwarded for consideration to Virginia Tech, William and Mary and ODU.

What they are doing in hosting CSSAs is stupid, harmful and unnecessary, and they need to stop.

Updated Nov 14 to reflect actual tuition, room, board and fees costs for out-of-state students.

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25 responses to “Some Virginia State Colleges and Universities Host Chinese Government Student Control Organizations”

  1. James Kiser Avatar
    James Kiser

    Makes sense if school administrators and professors are busy taking kickbacks and bribes from the Chines.

  2. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    You can bet their bring their own books too. Literally Chinese reproductions. Why would they be different from the Taiwanese students from back in my day?

    (Wow. Was I tired. Didn’t finish my comment.)

    Yeah, so?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Everything you do is watched by China, even your comments here. Be grateful. The OPM didn’t unload your SF-86 to Beijing. You were gone by then

        “You have no privacy. Get used to it” — Sun Micro’s CEO circa 2000.

        1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
          James C. Sherlock

          The OPM did indeed make that mistake with my information.

          The fact that China spies in multiple ways doesn’t mean that PRC big brother organizations should be welcome on Virginia campuses.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Well, careful how you slice and dice or you’ll catch Google in your net.

        2. CCP got ALL OPM files, past and present.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            When I was notified, I was “supposedly” one of only a “few” million. My spouse got a letter too since she was on my SF-86. We opted to get the 3 years of free monitoring. That was a long time ago. They’re still monitoring us for free. Doesn’t matter, I locked our credit decades ago. If I recall my daughter’s info was on it too, but she didn’t get a letter.

            Given the Captain retired in the 90s, I take it that “few” millions was typical lowballing.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Some did not get that OPM letter but they got monitoring from a Home Depot hack that apparently originated from a 3rd party portal.

            Yes, locking is a good thing too.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Yeah, it is. But it can cause hitches. When we went to open the wife’s online SSA account, we kept getting a “nope, visit SSA office”. So we went to the local office and when they went to set up her account, they couldn’t. The SSA uses the credit reporting agencies to verify identity. Finally, after an hour and two agents, they got it done.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            ah… Are you using ?

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            No. Agency by agency. Different user names and passwords for each. Pain in the, well, donkey.

            But, I only use SSA, IRS, FCC, & USCG. And PayGov.

          6. LarrytheG Avatar


          7. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Yeah, but they don’t specifically list SSA and IRS. You’d think if you could access the two biggest agencies they’d be identified specifically and not as “and other participating agencies…”

            Do you use the portal? And for which agencies?

          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            OPM, SSA… supposedly eventually others on IRS still not on it I don’t think.

          9. CCP was not hacking for credit card info

          10. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            The assumption being they’re not above selling personal info for fun and profit.

            Sure, they were looking for “compromisable” persons. Two problems: that’s not a guarantee, and the need was made OBE in 2016.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    Makes me wonder how far away some might be from demanding the US no longer allow students from China!

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Can we build a wall? Oh, wait…

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Shouldn’t ban organizations from campus for harboring unsavory attitudes. Or, maybe one should?

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Oh yeah, almost forgot…
    “Six years on from cake at Mar-a-Lago, China’s Xi returns to a much warier US”

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Speaking of “Big Brother”, for years, every year, I performed a leak detection for water leaks in my house by marking the “little red willy” on my water meter with a grease pencil and checking it for movement over a twenty minute period of no usage.

    Last year NNWW replaced my meter with a high tech electronic meter. The thing reports “hourly” usage at 0.01 gallon increments. I can go online and determine every time I get a glass of water in the middle of the night — so can NNWW and the FBI (for whatever reason).

  7. The left seems determined to assist our enemies to the full extent possible.

    This isn’t new.

    Flashback: Bill Clinton gave China missile technology

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      geeze, Nathan, yet another biased media funded largely from Conservative groups!

  8. Yawn. More “The Chinese are coming!! The Chinese are coming!!” hysteria.

    David Sanger of the New York Times today noted an apparent shift in the power dynamic between President Joe Biden and Chinese president Xi Jinping, who met yesterday for a four-hour conversation. Earlier in his presidency, Xi was riding on a strong economy that overshadowed that of the U.S. and looked as if it would continue to do so. Then, Xi favored what was known as “wolf warrior” diplomacy: the aggressive defense of China’s national interests against what Chinese envoys portrayed as foreign hostility, especially that of the U.S.

    Under that diplomatic regime, Xi emphasized that liberal democracy was too weak to face the twenty-first century. The speed and momentous questions of the new era called for strong leaders, he said. In early February 2022, Russia and China held a summit after which they pledged that the “[f]riendship between the two States has no limits.”

    Things have changed.

    The U.S. has emerged from the coronavirus pandemic with a historically strong economy, while China’s economy is reeling from a real estate bubble and deflation at the same time that government crackdowns have made foreign capital flee. This summer, Xi quietly sidelined Qin Gang, the foreign minister associated with wolf warrior diplomacy, and in October, he replaced Defense Minister General Li Shangfu, who is under U.S. sanctions for overseeing weapon purchases from Russia.

    Educate yourself, read more:

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