‘It’ll define the 21st century and there’s only so much we can do at the federal level about it.’
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on state lawmakers to remain proactive against Chinese government influence, particularly within local governments and universities.
Speaking to the Florida House Public Integrity and Elections Committee on Monday via Zoom, Rubio warned members about a nationwide foreign interference effort. In years past, he noted, state universities have been compromised.
“It’s an enormous challenge,” Rubio said. “It’ll define the 21st century and there’s only so much we can do at the federal level about it.”
Rubio said the Chinese government can infiltrate universities using several strategies.
Researchers and graduate students, Rubio said, can be used to gather intelligence.
“They have bought researchers,” Rubio told lawmakers. “They’ve gone into universities and paid people or had side deals with researchers who sell them these advances.”
A former Florida House Speaker, Rubio also warned about Chinese influence on American students.