UK Lawmakers Demand Universities Disclose China Ties, Ban Confucius Institutes

Supporters of the Chinese Government await the arrival of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao outsid
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British universities should be forced to disclose their financial dealings with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and shut down the controversial Confucius Institutes, a bi-partisan group of MPs have demanded.

The United Kingdom needs to crack down on the influence that communist cash has on its university system, including funding from the controversial Confucius Institute, which reports directly to the Propaganda Department of Beijing, British parliamentarians led by former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said.

The cross-party group of 20 MPs, aligned under the China Research Group (CRG), have argued that the government’s campus free speech legislation should be amended to include a requirement that universities disclose the funding they received from the institutes, as well as the activities of the communist organisations.

According to the MPs, vice-chancellors at 17 universities in Britain have accepted £28 million in funding from Confucius Institutes over the past decade.

The centres have been stifling speech surrounding “sensitive” topics for Beijing (Peking) on campus, including the so-called “three t’s” of Taiwan, Tibet, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre — and, more recently, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Tory MP and CRG co-chairman Alicia Kearns told The Times: “Complacency has seen the UK become host to the most Confucius Institutes of any country in the world.

“The Chinese Communist Party strangles freedom of speech at home, yet uses British universities to rewrite the realities of its historic and contemporary actions.”

There are also growing concerns of Chinese espionage on British campuses, with the MI6 foreign intelligence service — roughly equivalent to America’s CIA — reportedly launching investigations into “some of the most prestigious universities in the country” for potentially violating national security laws by working with Chinese weapons makers.

Some 200 British academics have been identified as allegedly helping Beijing develop weapons of “mass destruction”.

Some 33 universities, including prestigious Cambridge, have also been accused of working in tandem with the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP), the chief nuclear weapons developer for the Chinese government.

At the same time as many academics have been leading the charge for woke causes in Britain, their pay cheques have been heavily dependent on tuition — often subsidised by CCP scholarships — of Chinese students.

In May of last year, a government investigation “established a correlation” between the reliance on tuition from Chinese students and technology transfers to the CCP from universities in Britain.

On top of the 30 Confucius Institutes in Britain, there are also nearly 150 “Confucius Classrooms” which operate around the country. Though they officially claim to merely promote Chinese language and culture, former Chinese leader Hu Jintao admitted that the ultimate goal of the project is “to cultivate and prepare a group (or army) of people to make sure the CCP will be in power in the future… and increase our CCP influence around the world.”

Another co-chairman of the China Research Group, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, told The Telegraph: “We should not be reliant on an authoritarian state to teach its language in Britain.”

Professor Andreas Fulda University of Nottingham, who focuses on Chinese issues, went further, declaring: “Chinese propaganda has no place on campus. If Confucius Institutes want to continue to operate in the UK they should rent their own office space downtown. This will require universities to either terminate, or choose not to renew, their existing co-operation agreements.”

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