Florida Rep. Mike Waltz (R) has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. In the letter, Waltz calls on the Department of Defense to investigate the Army, Navy, and Air Force JROTC programs at private schools across the U.S.
Waltz is calling for an investigation into the school programs to ensure the schools are not “owned by a subsidiary of a foreign company.” Waltz is also asking for the names of the subsidiary of a foreign company should it be uncovered that the schools are owned by them.
According to a press release from the Republican lawmaker, “the letter stems from examples of private schools in the United States that are owned by Chinese subsidies with links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).” The release adds that “these acquisitions could be a part of the CCP’s Belt & Road infrastructure and global influence initiative in the American education sector.”
In a statement, Waltz shared that “It’s incredibly concerning that there are American private schools owned by companies with strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party.”
“From Florida to New York, there is clear evidence that the ownership of these schools are linked to our greatest adversary and it’s ridiculous that we are developing potential future military leaders through JROTC programs where the CCP could be shaping school curriculum and activities,” Waltz further warned.
Waltz provides some examples of schools in the letter, which includes the Florida Preparatory Academy that’s located in Melbourne, Florida. The school is owned by Newopen, USA, but the company is also a subsidiary of the Chongqing, China-based Newopen Group. It’s chairman, Zhou Dengguang, “participated in the Chinese Entrepreneurs Association, sponsored by the CCP, and discussed the national strategic development layout, and superior resource cooperation with its Secretary General.
The school also has an Air Force JROTC program that’s assigned to it.