Chinese-funded institutes on more than 100 U.S. college campuses are a threat to academic freedom and should be shut down, Senate investigators warn in a new bipartisan report, per NBC News.
Confucius Institutes “depict China as approachable and compassionate; rarely are events critical or controversial,” according to a report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. “The Chinese government approves all teachers, events, and speakers. Some U.S. schools contractually agree that both Chinese and U.S. laws will apply.”
The Chinese government has opened more than 100 Confucius Institutes on college campuses and in more than 500 primary schools and has directly provided more than $158 million to U.S. schools for the institutes.
“We’re not against cultural exchange or language learning outright. We do view and recognize the value in this globalized world of cultural exchange, of foreign exchange, of language learning,” said a subcommittee investigator. “There are concerns schools need to be aware about how these things operate. And the public, faculty and students also need to be aware.”
The report says China is attempting to control its image abroad and said the Chinese government has not allowed the U.S. to do the same in China.
"Absent full transparency regarding how Confucius Institutes operate and full reciprocity for U.S. cultural outreach efforts on college campuses in China, Confucius Institutes should not continue in the United States," it says.
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