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The Confucius Institutes: A Study in Subversion
By Carole Hornsby Haynes February 16, 2021
Even in the final hours of his administration, President Trump was working to stop China’s infiltration of American education. He proposed a rule to force schools to publicly disclose their connection with the Confucius Institutes and classrooms or lose certification for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. On January 26, “President” Biden revoked that rule. Now Democrats have voted to give federal relief money to educational institutions that partner with the Chinese Communist Party.
The Confucius Institutes are Chinese government-funded locations on college campuses, primarily in the United States and other western countries, ostensibly to teach Mandarin and Chinese culture. In reality, the institutes are a communist front for centers of propaganda.
The first Confucius Institute opened in South Korea in 2004. A 2017 study by the National Association of Scholars found that the number of Confucius Institutes housed at colleges and universities is more than 1,000 worldwide with 103 in the United States. In addition, over 500 Confucius classrooms are housed in U.S. kindergarten through 12th grade schools.
An agency of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Hanban, operates the Confucius Institute and provides teachers, institute directors, textbooks, classroom materials, and operating funds. A five-year contract with the host institution gives the Chinese government total control over staffing and curriculum. Since 2006 the Chinese government has provided more than $158 million to more than 100 U.S. schools for Constitution Institutes.
Yet nearly 70 percent of schools that received more than $250,000 from the Confucius Institutes failed to properly report those donations to the Department of Education.
Speaking to Reuters, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled the institute an “entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms. Confucius Institutes are funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”
Senator Tom Cotton issued a press release in which he said the “Confucius Institutes are front groups for the Chinese Communist Party on American campuses.”