Larsen, Beyer and Chu Reintroduce Legislation to Restore Fulbright Exchanges with China
Washington, D.C., March 30, 2023
Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Don Beyer (VA-08) and Judy Chu (CA-28) reintroduced the Restoring Fulbright Exchanges with China and Hong Kong Act. In 2020, then President Trump signed an Executive Order ending Fulbright exchanges both to and from China and Hong Kong.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Don Beyer (VA-08) and Judy Chu (CA-28) reintroduced the Restoring Fulbright Exchanges with China and Hong Kong Act. In 2020, then President Trump signed an Executive Order ending Fulbright exchanges both to and from China and Hong Kong.
“Restoring Fulbright exchanges with China and Hong Kong enables the United States to build its China expertise, strengthen people-to-people ties and give Chinese participants an opportunity to experience the real United States and the benefits of academic freedom,” said Larsen, a co-chair of the bipartisan U.S.-China Working Group.
“Fulbright Programs have long played an important role in building American expertise and buttressing foreign policy understanding in the United States," said Beyer. "The exchange of Fulbright scholars between the U.S. and P.R.C. historically was a major source of experience and knowledge undergirding our strategy with respect to China. It also helped counter the increasingly negative depiction of the United States delivered by the Chinese Communist Party. Our legislation would rebuild this critical program.”
“Fulbright volunteers represent the United States abroad and forge connections with everyday people, even in countries where official relations are strained,” said Chu. “The decision by the Trump administration to end Fulbright exchanges with mainland China and Hong Kong was short-sighted and intended only to worsen U.S.-China diplomatic relations. The Restoring Fulbright Exchanges with China and Hong Kong Act will give Fulbright exchange students from across the United States the chance to return to China and Hong Kong again, helping to advance US interests diplomatically by improving communication and understanding between our countries.”
Stakeholders voiced their support for the Restoring Fulbright Exchanges with China and Hong Kong Act.
“The University of Washington is proud of our long history of participation in the Fulbright Program, perhaps our nation’s most effective tool for developing international understanding, expertise and engagement,” said Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington. “Given China’s economic size and importance, and its status as Washington state’s top trading partner, it’s imperative that workers entering the global economy are prepared to understand and work with China. Including China in the Fulbright Program holds enormous potential to benefit our nation’s economy as well as foster greater understanding between our two peoples, and we wholeheartedly support Rep. Larsen’s bill to lift the ban on Chinese participation in the program.”
“I applaud Reps. Larsen, Beyer and Chu’s introduction of the Restoring Fulbright Exchanges with China and Hong Kong Act,” said Stephen A. Orlins, President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. “Until its abrupt termination in 2020, these Fulbright programs had for forty years provided many future American leaders in government, journalism, and academia with critical insights into Chinese politics and society. Restoring Fulbright China makes the United States a stronger and more secure nation.”
The Fulbright Program enables graduate students and young professionals from the United States and more than 160 countries around the world to study, teach or undertake research in each other’s countries. For more information on the Fulbright Program, click here.
Larsen is a leading voice for economic and strategic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region and a proponent of advancing U.S. democratic values worldwide. Larsen outlined a comprehensive strategy to boost U.S. competitiveness and enhance American global leadership, including identifying areas where bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and China is in both nations’ interest. To read Larsen’s White Paper, click here.