Chinese ‘Confucius Institutes’ at US Universities may face more regulation

Politics

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong speaks at George Washington University November 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Liu spoke at the Confucius Institute. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – Several Republican senators are introducing legislation to regulate the partnerships between US universities and 55 Chinese Confucius Institutes. The schools say that they teach Mandarin, cultivate Chinese cultural awareness, and facilitate educational exchanges. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley says that the schools are actually a front for Chinese propaganda.

“Confucius Institutes allow the Chinese regime to funnel propaganda into American universities under the guise of educational enrichment. It’s long past time that this is made clear to Americans up front, and that anyone involved with these centers face background checks. Anything else would be an abdication of our national security efforts,” Senator Hawley said.

Hawley has previously asked University of Missouri and Webster University to reconsider their partnerships with the Confucius Institutes.

Mizzou canceled its contract with its Confucius Institute in 2020, six months before it was scheduled to end. They cited expensive new government regulations for language classes as the reason for ending the relationship. The University of Kentucky also canceled their relationship after Congressional threats to cut funding to several programs.

The Transparency for Confucius Institutes Act would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require program participation agreements between the CCP agency which administers educational programs. The new requirements would separate the Chinese language and Confucius Institutes’ programs, remove the assistant director position, abolish the confidentiality portion of agreements, and give US schools executive authority.

Senators Josh Hawley, Marsha Blackburn, Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, Tommy Tuberville, Mike Braun, and Rick Scott are behind the Transparency for Confucius Institutes Act.

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