The Chinese Navy… yes, the Communist Chinese Navy… is trying to purchase a college in New Jersey.
For nearly a century, Westminster Choir College (part of Rider University), has been one of America’s leading academic institutions for advanced musical studies, with a core mission of “training ministers (with music as their ministry) in the Christian evangelical tradition.” It is also one of America’s national treasures for classical music. The college’s Westminster Choir has performed with the New York Philharmonic over 300 times, more than any other organization.
This story has been reported extensively… from the New York Times to Fox News, but now there's opposition to a Chinese government-owned defense contractor for the Chinese Navy trying to buy it.
An alumni group, the Westminster Foundation, has sued to stop Rider University from selling it, claiming that the Chinese government would have a direct foothold in America academia.
The Westminster Foundation’s lawsuit contends that the company intended to run the school, Princeton Westminster International, is really owned by Bejing Wenhuaxuexin Education, which is a subsidiary of Bejing Kaiwen Education Technology, "a for-profit Chinese entity owned and controlled by the government of China."
The lawsuit states that just three weeks before it announced its intent to buy Westminster, Kaiwen changed its name from Jiangsu Zhongtai Bridge Steel Structure Company, "a manufacturer of components of Chinese naval vessels and is a defense contractor" for China's military," in order "to create the veneer and seeming appearance of an education entity to justify its acquisition of Westminster Choir College."
Security experts believe that the real reason the Chinese government wants to buy Westminster Choir College is to gain a foothold in Princeton’s regional academic community and then exploit Princeton's reputation as a center of studies for the U.S. intelligence community. The United States government maintains contracts at known research centers in high tech, defense, and cyberspace that happen to be near Westminster's campus. Westminster Choir College is a tiny music school in one of the most sensitive centers of intelligence and defense research in the world.
The attorney for the Westminster Foundation recently was quoted: "For the first time in American history, an American college would have been taken over by a unit of a foreign authoritarian foreign dictatorship, which is what China is. The sad reality is that academic freedom disappears, true education disappears, the ability to create music, drama culture, to study religion disappears because all of these things are subject to censorship in China."
So… what is the NJGOP going to do about it?
This is a made to order issue for Republicans and right-thinking Democrats alike. So who is going to step up?