Utah state lawmakers have proposed a joint resolution “to protect Utah’s institutions of higher education from Chinese Communist Party influence.” The resolution seeks to close the remaining Confucius Institutes located at universities and colleges in the state.
The new resolution, introduced by Rep. Candice Pierucci (R), cites security concerns and propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party.
“It is essential that students in Utah’s higher education system have access to language and cultural offerings free from manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies,” reads the resolution.
The resolution goes on to call on Utah’s institutions of higher learning to “close their Confucius institutes and disclose certain information related to Confucius institutes to the Legislature.”
The resolution goes on to commend Utah’s universities “that have closed their Confucius institutes.”
“Confucius institutes are staffed in part with visiting teachers from China and are partially funded by the People’s Republic of China government, under guidance from the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department,” states the resolution.
“The United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that the Confucius institute program is run by the Chinese government.”
The resolution also notes that last year the U.S. Department of State designated the Confucius Institute United States Center as a foreign mission of the Communist Regime, and has stated that Confucius institutes “push out skewed Chinese language and cultural training for United States students as part of Beijing’s multifaceted propaganda efforts.”
The Utah lawmakers go on to mention that in 2010, China’s Minister of Propaganda had described the country’s foreign activity goal as “the efforts of overseas and domestic propaganda,” which “further create a favorable international environment” for China.
“Since 2014, 45 American universities in 30 different states have already closed their Confucius institutes,” the resolution adds. “Several Utah institutions of higher education have Confucius institutes.”
There are two Utah universities that still have Confucius Institutes: the University of Utah, and Southern Utah University.