Share This Article with a Friend!

Red Chinese Penetrating American Colleges And Universities

Most conservatives recognize Communist China as an economic and military adversary of the United States, but only recently have Americans begun to recognize the ideological battle the Chinese Communists are Confucius Institutewaging on America’s college campuses.

Our friend Paul Mirengoff of Powerline recently posted an article highlighting the role the state-sponsored Confucius Institutes play in shaping attitudes toward China on America’s college campuses.

Wrote Mr. Mirengoff:

China fights its ideological battle on American campuses through Confucius Institutes. Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted “Institutes” that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world, including more than 100 in the United States. As the National Association of Scholars (NAS) documented in this report, the Confucius Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and educate a generation of American students to know nothing more of China than the regime’s official history.

Rachelle Peterson, director of research projects at the National Association of Scholars, spent a year and a half studying Confucius Institutes. She found they misled students about China’s history and pressured American scholars to keep quiet about China’s unsavory policies. The Chinese director of one Institute told Peterson that if a student asked about Tiananmen Square, she would “show a picture and point out the beautiful architecture.” Another stripped faculty doors of banners referencing Taiwan.

Ms. Peterson says Confucius Institutes are not just for language teaching and cultural exchanges. She completed a study of 12 Confucius Institutes in the United States and concluded the Chinese government uses the institutes to shape students’ perceptions of China, build soft power, and intimidate American scholars into keeping quiet about China’s sub-par human rights record. In their less guarded moments, Chinese officials admit this. Li Changchun, former head of propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party, called Confucius Institutes “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed in recent weeks that his agency is taking “investigative steps” regarding Confucius Institutes. Wray was responding to questions from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who called Confucius Institutes “complicit” in China’s larger efforts “to covertly influence public opinion” in the United States. Earlier this month, Rubio sent a letter to Florida schools, urging them to shut down their Confucius Institutes. (You can read the full text of Rubio’s letter through this link.)

In a recent op-ed in The Hill Ms. Peterson suggests six steps that the United States government and American colleges and universities should take to reassert American law and academic standards over Confucius Institutes:

First, make colleges choose between China’s gifts and federal funding. When a college receives Confucius Institute funding, its eligibility for federal Chinese-language grants should decrease proportionately.

Second, require financial transparency. The public should know how much money foreign governments pour into colleges and universities.

Third, enforce existing law. Of the 103 Confucius Institutes in the U.S., Peterson’s research found that only 16 have reported Confucius Institute gifts to the Department of Education since 2010. The Justice Department has authority to investigate and sue institutions that fail to disclose these gifts properly. It should do so at once.

Fourth, require China to be upfront about its goals. Confucius Institutes are propaganda machines masked as educational endeavors. The Justice Department should investigate Confucius Institutes for potential violation of Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Fifth, enforce antidiscrimination law. China requires that Confucius Institute teachers must “have Chinese nationality.” Qualified Americans are not eligible to apply. The Justice Department should investigate and, if proper, pursue legal action against American colleges complicit in discrimination.

Sixth, hold more hearings. Confucius Institutes have the potential to threaten national security, as FBI Director Wray acknowledged. They gag American scholars who are critics of China. They are likely a tool for China to monitor, intimidate, and harass Chinese students studying in America.

We here at CHQ would suggest a seventh action item to add to Ms. Peterson’s list; if one of your state’s colleges or universities hosts a Confucius institute or if you are an alumnus of such a college or university, or the university or college where your children are studying hosts a Confucius Institute send the chief administrator a version of Senator Rubio’s letter to Florida colleges and universities. (You can access a list of Confucius Institutes through this link.)

Here’s the letter we suggest:

Dear [Chief Administrator]:

I write with regards to growing foreign influence operations of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the United States, particularly in our academic institutions. There is mounting concern about the Chinese government’s increasingly aggressive attempts to use “Confucius Institutes” and other means to influence foreign academic institutions and critical analysis of China’s past history and present policies. Additionally, the PRC continues its efforts to interfere in multilateral institutions, threaten and intimidate rights defenders and their families, and impose censorship mechanisms on foreign publishers and social media companies. For reasons outlined below, I respectfully urge you to consider terminating your Confucius Institute agreement.

Confucius Institutes are Chinese government-run programs that use the teaching of Chinese language and culture as a tool to expand the political influence of the PRC. In November 2011, Li Changchun, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the highest body of the Chinese Communist Party, stated in a speech at the Beijing Headquarters of the Confucius Institute:

“The Confucius Institute is an appealing brand for extending our culture abroad. 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.”

There are presently more than 100 Confucius Institutes, in addition to Confucius Classrooms at the K-12 level in the United States, including several in the state of Florida. These institutes are overseen by a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education, and are instructed to only teach versions of Chinese history, culture or current events that are explicitly approved by the Chinese Government and Communist Party. As the American Association of University Professors noted in a June 2014 report:

“Confucius Institutes function as an arm of the Chinese state and are allowed to ignore academic freedom. Their academic activities are under the supervision of Hanban, a Chinese state agency which is chaired by a member of the Politburo and the vice-premier of the People’s Republic of China. Most agreements establishing Confucius Institutes feature nondisclosure clauses and unacceptable concessions to the political aims and practices of the government of China. Specifically, North American universities permit Confucius Institutes to advance a state agenda in the recruitment and control of academic staff, in the choice of curriculum, and in the restriction of debate.”[1]

Moreover, Confucius Institute instructors are almost always hired in China and trained by the Chinese Ministry of Education without any of the same employment and hiring protections that exist in the United States. Much more difficult to measure but no less insidious, however, is the self-censorship that often takes place in academic settings where there is a Chinese government presence in the form of a Confucius Institute. University of Chicago professor Marshall Sahlins has called Confucius Institutes “academic malware” because they represent and reflect decidedly illiberal views of education and academic freedom. We know from multiple reports that topics, such as the status of Tibet and Taiwan, the fourth of June 1989 at Tiananmen Square, Falun Gong, and universal human rights, are off-limits at these institutes.

In a 2017 report titled, “Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education,” the National Association of Scholars found that “to a large extent, universities have made improper concessions that jeopardize academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Sometimes these concessions are official and in writing; more often they operate as implicit policies.”[2] In turn, a growing number of universities have already cut ties with Confucius Institutes:

In 2014, the University of Chicago suspended negotiations to renew its agreement to host a Confucius Institute following a petition signed by more than 100 faculty members raising concerns.

Days later, Pennsylvania State University cut ties with its Confucius Institute, noting:  “Several of our goals are not consistent with those of the Office of Chinese Languages Council International, known as the Hanban, which provides support to Confucius Institutes throughout the world." [3]

Ontario’s McMaster University shuttered its Confucius Institute in 2013 after a former instructor alleged that the university was “giving legitimization to discrimination” because her contract with Hanban prohibited her participation in Falun Gong.[4]

Indeed, as Politico reported in “How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms” (January 16, 2018): “The American Association of University Professors, America’s leading professorial guild, also recommended in 2014 that ‘universities cease their involvement in Confucius Institutes unless the agreement between the university and Hanban is renegotiated,’ so that the universities have unilateral control over the curriculum and faculty, Confucius faculty have the same rights of free inquiry as their fellow teachers, and contracts between Hanban and the partner universities are made public.”

In light of these troubling disclosures, I am deeply concerned by the Confucius Institute at [name of college or university]. Given China’s aggressive campaign to “infiltrate” American classrooms, stifle free inquiry, and subvert free expression both at home and abroad, I respectfully urge you to consider terminating your Confucius Institute agreement. Should you have any questions or concerns please do hesitate to contact me for further discussion.

Again, I respectfully urge you to consider terminating your Confucius Institute agreement. Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter. 

[Your Name Here]

[Affiliation, if any here.]






Share this

Our Universities died long ago

Leftist / Progressives started overtaking classrooms - in both K-12 through University more than 100 years ago.

Dewey, remove God & the Bible, now, here we are...

Children who have no mooring, no foundation - are basket cases who shoot up schools, join ISIS, change 'genders'

May God have mercy on us