Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021 anonymous Chinese donors have poured millions of dollars to the university that houses President Joe Biden’s think tank, where at least 10 classified documents were identified.
Since Biden’s inauguration, the University of Pennsylvania has received $51 million in foreign funding, including $14 million from unnamed contributors in China and Hong Kong and $2.4 million from unnamed contributors in Saudi Arabia, according to Department of Education records reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The school also received $1 million from a source in the Cayman Islands in June to fund its Penn Wharton China program.
This funding is in addition to the $61 million that the University of Pennsylvania received from Chinese donors between 2017 and 2020, which was reported by the Free Beacon in 2021.
The names of the newer foreign donors are being kept under wraps by the Biden administration’s Department of Education—a departure from prior administrations that would publish this information in an online database. American universities that receive federal grants are required by law to disclose their overseas funders to the government.
The funding details come as Biden’s think tank, the Penn Biden Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has been in the media spotlight following reports that federal investigators found classified documents at the Washington, D.C.-based institute and his Delaware home. The Penn Biden Center, which launched in 2017, served as a home base for Biden's top national security officials, many of whom were employed by the center before joining the Biden administration. The White House is also facing criticism for a lack of transparency about who had access to Biden's home and the Penn Biden Center where the classified documents were found.
The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a government watchdog group, said the donor records raise questions about whether any foreign funding has gone into the Penn Biden Center. The University of Pennsylvania told the Free Beacon last week that the think tank hasn’t received any earmarked donations from foreign sources and said it is financed by general university funds.
Tom Anderson, the director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project, said the omission of donor names from the Department of Education’s post-2021 records makes it more difficult to track the money sources.
"The Department of Education’s policy of hiding the identities of foreign entities showering our universities with billions of dollars is promoting a toxic brew of dark money and corruption," Anderson told the Free Beacon.
The department’s database includes the date of the donation and the donor’s country, but not their names. Under previous administrations, the names of the donors were also included. The last time the Department of Education published that information was in October of 2020, a few months before Biden took office.
A Department of Education spokesman declined to provide the Free Beacon with a list of donor names since 2020 and declined to comment on why this information is no longer available in its database. The Free Beacon has submitted a public information request for these records.
In 2020, the Free Beacon reported that the University of Pennsylvania received $3 million from a mysterious Hong Kong shell company called the Nice Famous Corporation Limited, which is owned by a Shanghai businessman with deep ties to Chinese government officials.