Campus Reform | Biden's Secretary of State pick led Biden Center at UPenn, as school allegedly accepted millions in 'anonymous' donations from China

Biden's Secretary of State pick led Biden Center at UPenn, as school allegedly accepted millions in 'anonymous' donations from China

Vice President Joe Biden has chosen individuals from the University of Pennsylvania Biden Center to serve in his potential presidential administration, if President Donald Trump is not successful in his legal challenges regarding the election.

Among those individuals are Anthony Blinken, who Biden wants to lead the Department of State, even amid questions of the University of Pennsylvania accepting millions of dollars from "anonymous" sources in China.

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Anthony Blinken —former Vice President Joe Biden’s choice to become Secretary of State if he is inaugurated president in January — was the director of the University of Pennsylvania's Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which recently faced criticism for accepting $22 million in "anonymous" funds originating in China.

The Biden Center, which the University of Pennsylvania officially launched in February 2018, “engages Penn’s students and partners with its faculty and global centers to convene world leaders, develop and advance smart policy, and strengthen the national debate for continued American global leadership in the 21st century.” It is located in Washington, D.C. 

Blinken worked as the center’s managing director until 2019 when he began serving as a foreign policy adviser for the Biden presidential campaign.

In May 2020, Campus Reform reported on allegations from the National Legal and Policy Center, which said that the University of Pennsylvania accepted more than $70 million from China — $22 million of which was listed as “anonymous” — since the Biden Center opened its doors.

[RELATED: 'Biden Center' at UPenn named in complaint alleging undisclosed China funds]

According to the NLPC’s complaint, “federal law requires the disclosure of the source of all donations over $250,000.” Accordingly, the complaint requested a referral to the Department of Justice.

Of the donations to the University of Pennsylvania that were $250,000 or greater, Campus Reform was able to identify more than two dozen examples in which the individual donor names were not listed, amounting to about $26 million in undisclosed gifts from China.

According to the complaint, "the name of the donor is required by law to be disclosed, not just a number." 

[RELATED: Biden COVID task force member, UPenn prof questions benefits of vaccines for people over 75]

The complaint pointed out that the Biden Center co-sponsored an event called the “2020 Penn China Research Symposium,” which featured remarks from Huang Ping, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, even as the Chinese Communist Party was in the process of covering up the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Pennsylvania Vice President of Communications Stephen MacCarthy told Campus Reform that the school “has never solicited any funds for the Penn Biden Center.  Since its inception in 2017, it has received a total of three unsolicited gifts totaling $1,100. There have been no gifts to the Penn Biden Center from anyone in China.”

One University of Pennsylvania junior, who spoke with Campus Reform on the condition of anonymity, said that this lack of transparency is “concerning.” The student said that “the university should be transparent in disclosing all donations by China.”


Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft