Dozens of universities and colleges around the country have maintained partnerships with the Confucius Institute, an educational organization backed by China’s communist government. In 2019, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called for an investigation into the Confucius Institute influence over American universities and college.
According to a report by Campus Reform, many American universities and colleges have maintained their relationships with the Confucius Institute, which has been accused by public officials of stealing research and restricting campus speech that is critical of the Chinese government. The schools that continue to work in league with the communist Chinese government include schools accross the country such as the University of Kentucky, Colorado State University, and Stanford.
Martin Davidson, the chairman of Adam Smith International, told the New York Times in 2012 that the Confucius Institute bribes colleges with large sums from the Chinese government in exchange for control over campus discourse on China. Professors at the University of Miami, for example, claim that they were told by Confucius Institute representatives that they were not permitted to discuss the Dalai Lama, the Chinese military, or Tibet.
According to the report, dozens of universities have maintained their partnerships with the Confucius Institute despite evidence that suggests that the organization was designed to exploit American institutions and promote communist values.
A 2018 report by POLITICO Magazine revealed that a Chinese official admitted that the Confucius Institute is a vehicle used by the government to expand China’s influence abroad under the guise of Chinese language instruction.
But the Confucius Institutes’ goals are a little less wholesome and edifying than they sound—and this is by the Chinese government’s own account. A 2011 speech by a standing member of the Politburo in Beijing laid out the case: “The Confucius Institute is an appealing brand for expanding our culture abroad,” Li Changchun said. “It has made an important contribution toward improving our soft power. The ‘Confucius’ brand has a natural attractiveness. Using the excuse of teaching Chinese language, everything looks reasonable and logical.”
Breitbart News reported in October 2019 that Senator Josh Hawley has called for a federal investigation into the Confucius Institute influence over American campuses. Many American universities and colleges such as the University of Delaware and the University of North Florida have already cut ties with the Confucius Institute.
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