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Investigation Recommends Confucius Institutes be Closed PDF Print E-mail
Global Stage
China Uncensored   

Confucius is a representative figure of traditional Chinese culture. The moral values he advocated, and the belief in heaven above, have been passed down through the generations for more than 2,000 years.

However, the Chinese communist regime since 2004 has hijacked the Confucius name and invested large amounts of money to set up Confucius Institutes at colleges and universities, as well as Confucius Classrooms in high schools, middle schools and elementary schools in foreign countries.

These institutes are an important tool for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to spread its culture overseas.

The “culture” the Chinese communist regime has been advocating is the communist ideology, with atheism as its core principle. Starting from the beginning of the 21st century, the CCP has stipulated the importance of “improving the soft power of culture.”

Soft power

The concept of “soft power” was first coined and introduced in 1990 by Harvard professor Joseph S. Nye. Soft power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Whereas hard power—the ability to coerce—grows out of a country's military or economic might, soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies.

However, the CCP’s definition of soft power is completely different from the commonly recognized concept of soft power in the contemporary international community. The nature of the CCP’s soft power is determined by its core ideology of (totalitarian) socialism. For the CCP, soft power basically refers to its brainwashing power inside China and its infiltrative power outside China. The Confucius Institute is the CCP’s United Front organization’s soft power weapon of foreign affairs. It’s an all important tool for CCP to spread its core ideology and enhance its United Front setup.

New report exposes CCP's soft power in U.S.

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has just released the results of a comprehensive investigation into Confucius Institutes in the USA. It recommended the closure of all Confucius Institutes.

A brief summary of its findings:


Confucius  Institutes  are  teaching  and  research  centers  located  at  colleges  and  universities, underwritten  by  the  Chinese  government.  Since  2005,  more  than  100  Confucius  Institutes  (CIs)  have opened in the United States; 103 remain in operation.
These Institutes, many offering for-credit courses in Chinese language and culture, are largely staffed and funded by an agency of the Chinese government’s Ministry of Education—the Office of Chinese Languages Council International, better known as the Hanban.

The Hanban also operates similarly organized Confucius Classrooms (CCs) at 501 primary and secondary schools in the United States. These 604 educational outposts comprise a plurality of China’s 1,579 Confucius Institutes and Classrooms worldwide.

Confucius  Institutes  frequently  attract  scrutiny  because  of  their  close  ties  to  the  Chinese government. A stream of stories indicates that intellectual freedom, merit-based hiring policies, and  other  foundational  principles  of  American  higher  education  have  received  short  shrift  in  Confucius Institutes.

Secrecy

The  Hanban  has  shrouded  Confucius  Institutes  in  secrecy.  At  most  Institutes,  the  terms  of  agreement  are  hidden.  China’s  leaders  have  not  assuaged  worries  that  the  Institutes  may  teach political lessons that unduly favor China. In 2009, Li Changchun, then the head of propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party and a member of the party’s Politburo Standing Committee, called  Confucius Institutes “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.”

We  conducted  case  studies  at  twelve  Confucius  Institutes—two  in  New  Jersey  and  ten  in  New York—and  asked  about  hiring  policies,  funding  arrangements,  contracts  between  the  Hanban and the university, pressure on affiliated faculty members, and more. This report is the result of that investigation.
We found cause for concern in four areas:

1. Intellectual freedom
Official Hanban policy requires Confucius Institutes to adhere to Chinese law, including speech codes. Chinese teachers hired, paid by, and accountable to the Chinese government face pressures to avoid sensitive topics, and American professors report pressure to self-censor.

2. Transparency
Contracts  between  American  universities  and  the  Hanban,  funding arrangements, and hiring policies for Confucius Institute staff are rarely publicly available. Some universities went to extraordinary efforts to avoid scrutiny, cancelling meetings and
forbidding NAS from visiting campus.

3. Entanglement
Confucius Institutes are central nodes in a complex system of relationships with  China.  Confucius  Institutes  attract  full-tuition-paying  Chinese  students, fund scholarships for American students to study abroad, and offer other resources. Universities
with financial incentives to please China find it more difficult to criticize Chinese policies.

4. Soft  Power
Confucius  Institutes  tend  to  present  China  in  a  positive  light  and  to  focus on  anodyne  aspects  of  Chinese  culture.  They  avoid  Chinese  political  history  and  human rights abuses, present Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and develop a generation of American students with selective knowledge of a major country.

Banned topics include Falun Gong, Taiwan and Tibetan independence and discussion of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

See full report here

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 June 2017 11:52
 

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