Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Fairfax County, Virginia, which is consistently ranked as the top high school in the nation, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from groups tied to communist China’s military, according to a report.
What's more the elite Northern Virginia high school has served as a model for curricula at Chinese high schools with links to the rapidly-expanding People's Liberation Army.
Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit organization, was key in unearthing Tsinghua University High School's (TUHS) $300,000 donation to the U.S. school in 2014. TUHS was dubbed a “Jefferson Founding Partner.”
“We already knew the Chinese Communist Party infiltrated America’s colleges and universities through ‘Confucius Institute’ programs,” Nicki Neily, president and founder of PDE, told the Washington Examiner. “However, it is frightening to discover the same problem occurring in K-12 schools.”
The partnership between the Virginia school and Tsinghua University High School was geared toward adopting the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and advanced lab research "TJHSST is famous for. TUHS is closely tied to Tsinghua University, considered by the Pentagon to be a Chinese military university," Washington Examiner Justice Department reporter Jerry Dunleavy wrote on March 7.
The Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund (TJPF) received the funds from Tsinghua University. TJPF also received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation as well as the Chinese company Shirble, "which were both led by men tied to China’s United Front Work Department, the Chinese government’s foreign influence campaign," Dunleavy reported. "TJPF exists to support the Virginia school, and the fund’s board of directors includes TJ’s principal, assistant principal, faculty representatives, and the head of TJ’s parent-teacher association."
In 2020, the Pentagon assessed there were “Military-Civil Fusion linkages” with Tsinghua University, noting the school's "People's Liberation Army-affiliated labs."
A report prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) in 2022 noted the PLA Air Force “established the ‘Dual-Enrollment Program’ with Tsinghua University.”
Also, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that Tsinghua University is “jointly supervised" by the "State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense.”
TUHS confirms that it is “attached” to Tsinghua University and is “directly under the Ministry of Education.” TUHS’s principal noted the school is “under the guidance” of the CCP, and leaders of the TUHS include CCP officials. TUHS International’s advisory board also includes Mao Daqing, part of the “United Front Work Department of CCP Central Committee.”
Dunleavy noted that the Chinese Communist Party-linked Ambright Education Group helped set up the “Thomas Schools of China” — modeled off of TJHSST.
Ambright said the “Thomas Schools of China” came about through “collaboration" with TJHSST, and its 2019 recruitment flyer said it was “establishing Thomas Schools of China” in Shanghai, Hefei, Jinan, and Nanjing by incorporating “advanced school operations” from TJHSST.
Shirble, seemingly just a Chinese department store, had as chairman Yang Xiangbo, a “member" of multiple sessions of the "National Committee” of the United Front’s “Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.” The TJ fund said Shirble donated at least $500,000 in fiscal 2018. A message from Yang Xiangbo on the Shirble website noted CCP officials “visited Shirble Department Store in person to guide the work and put forward ardent expectations for Shirble.”
Other TJ fund donors included Lockheed Martin, Northup Grumman, NASA, and the State Department.
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