Cleveland State University officials lied about closing its Communist Chinese controlled Confucius Institute in September 2021

China's "soft power" diplomacy under Xi Jinping is secretly still in operation as officials obey Communist Chinese laws at Cleveland State University

CLEVELAND, OH – On March 10, 2020 Cleveland State University (CSU) was one of 74 American colleges, universities and public school districts Republican United States Senator Charles Grassley forwarded a letter to with a warning about the Confucius Institute the Communist Peoples Republic of China was funding on its campus with foreign-sourced grant dollars.  The concern from Grassley and other members of Congress has been that officials at universities like CSU have been operating under secret agreements that direct them to obey Communist China’s laws while ignoring our own.

I have highlighted in red the language that should get everyone affiliated with the Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University arrested and prosecuted for espionage as unregistered agents of Communist China’s government. This is a form on CSU’s website instructing signatories they shall abide by the Communist laws of the Peoples Republic of China; but not the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Grassley warned of the unregistered foreign agents who were aiding Communist China’s “non-traditional” espionage activities right under the noses of “sanctuary city” elected officials and law enforcement officers in the 11th Congressional District.   Cleveland, as a center of foreign espionage and a national security risk, was first exposed globally in 2016 during the Republican National Convention.  The “Russian collusion” investigated by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller had roots to Cleveland where all the colluding players converged.

On August 13, 2020, Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS) was designated as a “foreign mission” by the United States Department of State under the 1982 Foreign Missions Act.  The federal law is codified at Title 22 of the United States Code sections 4301 through 4316 After the August 13, 2020 “foreign mission” designation, CSU officials were “required to notify the Department promptly (within 30 days) of the appointment of all foreign mission personnel, including all LE staff and part-time employees, and any dependents.”  Confucius Institute officials at CSU were also required to register as foreign agents with the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The definition of a “foreign mission” pursuant to Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 4302.a3(A) is a mission, agency or entity in the United States “which is involved in the diplomatic, consular or other activities of, or which is substantally owned or effectively controlled by a foreign government.

The Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University should be viewed as a Racketeering Influence Corrupt Organization for all the federal and state work and immigration laws its foreign controlled unregistered agents violated.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2021 and 2022 (P.L. 116-283, Section 1062) places restrictions on universities that apply for and acquire United States Department of Defense funding if they even “host” a Confucius Institute.  That’s regardless of the source of funding. Hosting universities and public school districts are not authorized to receive a dime as entities that have agreed to operate under the Communist laws of the Peoples Republic of China.

The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (H.R. 4521) adds its own conditions on Confucius-hosting CSU applying for funding from the National Science Foundation and other federal funding agencies.  The conditions are that American university officials and the Communist Chinese citizens they’re hiring as visa’d workers to teach and manage our schools cannot in any way acknowledge, obey or enforce a law of the Peoples Republic of China.

EJBNEWS reviewed the minutes from CSU board of trustee meetings prior to and after the August 13, 2020 designation of its Confucius Institute as a foreign mission by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  The goal was to learn if CSU officials complied with or disobeyed new federal law mandates.  EJBNEWS also sought to learn if the CSU Confucius Institute officials registered as a “foreign mission” with the United States Department of State as required.  After the August 13, 2020 “foreign mission” designation, Confucius Institutes throughout the United States were “required to notify the Department promptly (within 30 days) of the appointment of all foreign mission personnel, including all LE staff and part-time employees, and any dependents.”

This trio of unregistered foreign agents are still identified on the Cleveland State University website as the staff of a Confucius Institute that was supposed to be closed last September 2021.  Readers should observe the name “associate” has been misspelled twice as “assocaits”on the website of an American institution of so-called “higher learning.”

Minutes from CSU’s board of trustees 2020 and 2021 meetings don’t identify fired ex-CSU President Harlan Sands uttering a word to the governor’s appointed officials that Communist China’s unregistered agents  on the university’s staff were registering or relocating back to China after their visas expired.  The correspondence from Grassley and the United States Department of State do not appear to have been shared with the board of trustees and the public as a “receipt of communication” on the state governing body’s agenda.

Sands delivered no public report to the trustees about the U.S. Department of State “foreign missions” designation.  There was no report from CSU’s legal counsel, Sonali Wilson, about the new federal law requirements imposed on its Confucius Institute.  There was no order from the board of trustees David Gunning presided over as chairman in 2020 that instructed Sands to comply with federal reporting laws or close the Confucius Institute.

There is absolutely no published public record of CSU’s board of trustees adopting any resolution regarding the Confucius Institute that confirms spokesman Dave Kielmeyer’s email to Rachelle Peterson of the National Association of Scholars.  Peterson released a January 2022 report of the “Confucius Institutes in the US that are closing” and quoted Kielmeyer.

For a second time Cleveland State University’s board of trustees is giving hiring authority to aliens who arrived in the United States of America on student visas with three year expiration dates. Indian citizen Nigamanth Sridhar has been appointed by the CSU board of trustees to discharge the duties of an interim provost and administrative vice president. He’s replacing Communist China citizen Jianping Zhu. For six years CSU’s board let Zhu hire over 200 workers; the majority of whom were foreign. Zhu was supposed to have signed off on the personnel records associated with Sridhar’s proof of citizenship or authorization to work. He left lots of “spots” blank.

“Cleveland State University evaluates its programs and partnership agreements on regular basis and make adjustments as needed to ensure we focus our efforts and resources on university strategic priorities. The university terminated its agreement with the Confucius Institute in March. The institute will end operations and close this September.” 

Despite Kielmeyer’s emailed claim that CSU’s Confucius Institute’s contract was cancelled in March 2021, and was closing in September 2021, the university still maintains a Confucius Institute web page and identifies Zhou as its director.  Grace H. Huang, Wenzheng Liu and Janine Handlovic are still identified as employees.

Another current CSU web page explains its MASTER OF EDUCATION PreK-12 Education in Chinese Language degree program.  For information about the Chinese language degree readers are referred to the Confucius Institute.  The page exists under the heading of the College of Education & Human Services.

Cleveland State University’s Confucius Institute operates like a Communism spreading Peoples Republic of China propaganda cell within the 11th Congressional District.  State officials of Cleveland State University who are sworn to obey and enforce American laws are enforcing the Communist laws of the Peoples Republic of China on our soil.  They should be 

A search of the USDOJ’s registry of foreign agents reveals that Zhou, Huang, Liu, Handlovic, Jianping Zhu, Edward Hill and Lih-Ching C Wang have not ever registered as agents of Communist China.  After the August 13, 2020 “foreign mission” designation, CSU’s Confucius Institute continued to operate despite mandated duties imposed on its officials to obey federal espionage, immigration, labor and foreign mission reporting laws.

CSU officials are either hiding the grant money from Communist China as a bulk and renamed contribution; or continuing to operate the “foreign mission” using federal and state funds as a generic “international” program.

The trail of public records that should exist about the unregistered “foreign mission” since its 2008 inception do not exist in the published agendas and minutes of the board of trustees.  If CSU’s board of trustees authorized past president Michael Schwartz to enter an agreement with the Peoples Republic of China’s unregistered agents to host a Confucius Institute the contract is not identified in the public records.  None of the dollars CSU presidents Schwartz, Ronald Berkman and Sands received from the Communist Peoples Republic of China appear to have been openly discussed during CSU board of trustee meetings.

One of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) concerns has been the intentional acts of concealment American and foreign university officials operating Confucius Institutes and “international” programs have conspired to violate at the direction of the foreign government’s unregistered agents.  When asked for copies of Confucius Institute contracts, personnel records and communications between the Chinese aliens in our universities and their “handlers” in Communist China they’re instructed to resist the release of the public information.

The absence of discussions about the Confucius Institutes at Cleveland State University affirms the FBI’s belief that its past presidents, Michael Schwartz, Ronald Berkman and Harlan Sands, abided by the laws of the Communist Peoples Republic of China instead of the United States of America and the State of Ohio. It makes them unregistered agents of a Communist government as well as Logan Act and Espionage Act violators. All three appear to have ignored federal immigration laws in hiring alien workers from China, India and the Middle East over qualified Americans.

The absence of a public discussion about the Confucius Institutes by CSU’s criminally derelict past board of trustees and administrative officers violates Ohio’s “Sunshine Laws” and acts to obstruct the state’s official business.  EJBNEWS was threatened with litigation by CSU deputy legal counsel Kelly Marie King for publishing examples of the type of immigration records that should be found in Indian alien Nigamanth Sridhar’s personnel file.

China’s “ministers” of education, foreign affairs and culture are all officials of the Communist Party of China.  Communism is outlawed in the United States of America under the National Security Act of 1950 and the Communist Control Act of 1954.  CSU officials have no special authority under the Logan Act of 1799 and the Espionage Act of 1917 to communicate and exchange information with the officials of foreign and Communist governments.

The Confucius Institute at CSU was established on August 8, 2008.  Communist China’s Ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong, visited the state university to announce that it would receive an initial $120,000 grant with an opportunity to receive more.  It was described in as a way to teach Americans the Chinese language so we could communicate with Chinese business investors.  Confucius Institutes exist as an extension of the Communist Party of China’s “soft power” diplomatic strategy.  Some published reports show Communist China as investing more than $10 billion to embed its citizens in American institutions and those of dozens of other strategic nations.

Since 2008 the Confucius Institute at CSU provided Communist China with a pipeline to infiltrate its “nationalized” and “militarized” citizens into the United States of America and embed them at CSU, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), the University Akron, Kent State University, University of Toledo and Ohio State University.  Locally, Confucius Institute “cells” were expanded from the universities into local school districts in Cleveland, East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Westlake.

In Cleveland the Confucius Institute at CSU hosted summer Chinese cultural “immersion camps.”  Inside Ohio’s universities and public schools citizens of Communist China were given “facultied” and “student” access to the university’s information, technologies and administrative controls.

Children in American schools were falsely taught that Communist China is the #1 world power.  America should consider the impact public school educators who were indoctrinated by a Confucius Institute will have on the minds of American children they’ve been brainwashed to teach that China is superior to us.

CSU board of trustees institutionalized the foreign infiltration and visa law violations by appointing Communist Chinese national Jianping Zhu as its provost. The former member of the Peoples Liberation Army, who arrived in the United States from China on a student visa in 1986, was allowed to hire over 200 employees, the majority of them foreign, in six years.

In 2020 Zhu received a “Scientific & Technological Achievement Award” from Communist China’s Ministry of Aerospace Industry during the Artificial Intelligence & Security portion of its 6th International Conference in Hohhot, China. The conference was held from July 17 – 20, 2020 and included reports from more than 1000 information sharing Communist Chinese citizens embedded in universities in nations throughout the world.

Service in China’s Peoples Liberation Army is a compulsory part of the Communist nation’s education system pursuant to Article 55 of the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of China.  “It is a sacred duty of every citizen of the People’s Republic of China to defend his or her motherland and resist invasion. It is an honoured obligation of the citizens of the People’s Republic of China to perform military service and to join the militia forces.”

Gu Chunhui, Huang Zhenyu, Sun Kailiang, Wang Dong, and Wen Xinyu are members of the Peoples Liberation Army of Communist China who were accused of economic espionage inside the United States of America against 141 American companies in 2014.

Students in China’s middle schools, high schools and colleges attend two to four week military boot camps during each each elevation of their education.  Those 18–22 years of age must register with China’s selective service and commit to two years of military service in the Peoples Liberation Army.  Chinese men and women arriving in the United States to study have already been militarized by the Peoples Republic of China beginning in middle school.

United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) indictments identify Communist Chinese nationals working in all levels of American institutions who are engaged in acts of theft of national security and technology secrets.  The FBI has accused members of the Peoples Liberation Army to be the orchestrators of the Equifax hack that resulted in the personal data of 143 million Americans being stolen.

At all times Zhu was required to obey every applicable “American” federal and state law as he discharged the statutory duties of a CSU official found in section 3344 of the Ohio Administrative Code. In hiring Zhu it was CSU’s mandatory federal law “duty” to submit paperwork to the United States Department of Homeland Security affirming that no qualified American wanted the $340,000 a year job.  It was also the “specific performance” duties of CSU’s attorneys to guide its officials to obey only the constitutions and laws of the United States and Ohio.

Every foreign student or H1B worker comes with a “return home” expiration date of 3 years. H1B visa workers get one pre-approved extension for one year. CSU is proliferated like other universities and public schools with foreign students and workers who’ve never left on or before their visa expiration dates; and who are remaining, working and studying here unlawfully with the help of foreign “administrative” insiders like Zhu.

Blank spots and incomplete information exist throughout Nigamanth Sridhar’s 177-page personnel file.

A review of the 177-page personnel record of an alleged H1B visa’d worker hired 18 years ago shows numerous blank spots where required information about his visa and citizenship status is mandated to have been obtained and signed off on by Zhu.  H1B visas expire in three years.  Indian alien Nigamanth Sridhar arrived in the United States of America from India in 1999 to earn a post-doctoral degree in math from Ohio State University.  His student visa expired in 2002.

Instead of returning to India, Sridhar applied for a teaching job at Cleveland State University and was hired in 2004.  CSU’s personnel file for Sridhar does not include any official document proving its officials sought permission to contract with and appoint the alleged H1B visa’d worker to positions as professor and now interim vice provost.  Sridhar’s been working since 2004 and voting under the undocumented claim from CSU attorney King that he’s been an American citizen since 2016.

Like China, Communism has been embraced by India since 1920.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

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