In a stunning announcement, Capital University president Dove Coughwoman announced a plan for Capital University to receive funding from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the country’s investment program which supports infrastructure advancements primarily in underdeveloped countries.
In a speech announcing the decision to join the program, Coughwoman addressed skeptics who questioned why joining a foreign program was the best decision.
“The fact is that we can’t afford to fix our own problems,” Coughwoman said. “Ceilings are collapsing in our residence halls and most of the basements on campus are vulnerable to flooding. We had to get money somewhere!”
After a series of layoffs, tuition hikes and other cost-cutting measures, Capital caved in and looked elsewhere for help. Originally, there were many efforts to increase donations from alumni, but most had refused to donate unless the school brought back the Crusader mascot and sent undergraduate students out on an actual crusade.
The Ohio Government was also asked for financial support, but the university was told such a request was “literally communism” and further requests for help were met with dismissive financial advice telling the school to “just stop spending so much money on unnecessary things like the humanities or safe spaces.”
Coughwoman also reached out to the International Monetary Fund, a controversial American-based lender which requires borrowers to adopt strict austerity policies to repay loans. However, upon applying, the administration was told it would have to slash salaries by half and pay its lowest earning employees below minimum wage, which made it an untenable option.
This led to Coughwoman making the ambitious reach to join the Belt and Road Initiative.
“It was not an easy decision to make, but it was this or shutting down,” Coughwoman said.
They agreed, and offered several loans asking for Joey Frontier’s Vespa scooter and control of the fountains as collateral in a move some have labeled as a debt trap.
In a recent speech to the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping announced his new vision of lending to and developing American colleges and universities. While the initiative typically aims to increase trade infrastructure with China and to provide competing development opportunities in countries ravished by imperialism in Africa, Asia and Latin America, there was an untapped market in helping out American higher education institutes.
“While America has devoted much of its resources to spreading violence around the world and building up its military strength to threaten us and those with which it does not agree, they have neglected a very important resource: their education system,” General Secretary Xi said.
“This means we are able to support those who seek common prosperity rather than the competition we see in our world today.”
The move has baffled foreign policy analysts who are speculating as to the motivation behind the move. Some see it as a move to influence Americans to turn against their government, others see it as an effort to steal skilled American labor to bolster the Chinese economy.
The Biden administration is reportedly furious at the development, and has issued sanctions against Capital for taking part in a program of the enemy, considering it a threat to state security.