Massive liberal charities steered millions to Chinese groups tied to its government
By Gabe Kaminsky
23 January 2023
Two of the largest liberal charities in the United States handed millions of dollars in grants to entities in China linked to the Chinese Communist Party, documents show.
The Bill and Melinda Gates and Ford foundations, two highly influential nonprofit groups influencing left-leaning causes, combined in 2021 to give over $39 million to China, according to their latest tax forms. Some of these funds were directed to Chinese universities and government agencies involved in military research to further the CCP’s global influence, filings reveal.
“If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we need to heavily scrutinize every American dollar that goes to CCP-affiliated entities,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) told the Washington Free Beacon.
Gallagher is set to lead a House select committee that aims to investigate China’s influence and how to counter it. The federal government and dozens of state governments in the U.S. have taken steps to pressure China this year, enacting bans on certain companies such as TikTok linked to the government.
Gov. Kristi Noem, for instance, signed an executive order on Friday that bans her state from doing business with telecommunications companies associated with “evil foreign governments,” such as China, North Korea, Iran, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela.
“This order ensures that these countries cannot leverage telecommunications or state contract procurements to gain access to crucial state infrastructure and data,” said Noem.
The bulk of the $39 million steered to China came from the Gates Foundation, which Microsoft founder Bill Gates launched in 2000 with his then-wife, Melinda Gates. The foundation sent roughly $30 million to Chinese entities, according to tax forms.
China’s National Health Commission, the government’s department that crafts policies related to health and medicine, received $2.5 million from the Gates Foundation. The money, like most grants the foundation sent to the commission, was for aiding “global health and development public awareness and analysis.”
The commission has been the primary agency in China running point on COVID-19 mitigation efforts. COVID-19 origins still remain unclear, but the disease was first transmitted in Wuhan, China. The commission has come under fire for announcing it will no longer release COVID-19 data amid infections reportedly spiking.
The country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, another agency in Beijing, pulled in roughly $1.4 million from the Gates Foundation, tax forms show. The grants were for “water, sanitation, and hygiene.”
“Any American foundation contributing to causes that advance CCP-aligned interests in the developing world has serious questions to answer,” said Gallagher.
Grants from the Ford Foundation to China relate to finance, education, climate change, and many other issues. The $16 billion foundation has been around since 1936 and is led by Darren Walker, former vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Ford Foundation gave $9.3 million in 2021 to China, including to three universities overseen by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense, which aims to strengthen Chinese military forces.
Those schools are Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which combined to receive roughly $3.5 million from both the Gates and Ford foundations. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, has labeled the universities either “high risk” or “very high risk” because of their defense research and role in alleged cybersecurity attacks.
The Gates and Ford foundations also gave about $500,000 combined in 2021 to Beijing Normal University, tax forms show. The school has collaborated with China’s government on developing vehicles for the military, according to an August 2021 report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a nonpartisan national security think tank.