“Confucius Institutes censor political discussions and restrain the free exchange of ideas.” And, he asked, “Why, then, do American universities sponsor them?” Professor Sahlins notes that the Confucius Institutes are “governed by a council of high state and party officials from various political departments and chaired by a member of the Politburo, Vice Premier Liu Yandong.” American university officials look the other way and pretend not to notice what the Confucius Institute and the China Students and Scholars Association are doing. But as Professor Sahlins charges, “by hosting a Confucius Institute, they have become engaged in the political and propaganda efforts of a foreign government in a way that contradicts the values of free inquiry and human welfare to which they are otherwise committed.” That is a rather mild condemnation of the blatant betrayal — not only of their students’ rights, but of American society — that these university officials are engaged in.” – Marchall Sahlins, University of Chicago anthropology professor emeritus, The Nation Magazine (2013) Article titled, “China U”
By Selwyn Duke, The New American, 2/11/2015
The university was prohibited by an arm of the Chinese Ministry of Education from hiring a professor who would discuss Tibet. So, instead, a classical Chinese poetry chairman who wouldn’t dare broach the topic was retained. Of course, this type of state control of teaching isn’t unusual in superficially Marxist and un-officially fascist China, where censorship is a ship-of-state staple.
Except that this didn’t happen in China, but the United States. And the targeted institution was Stanford University.
How could this happen? It’s the result of a little-known exercise of Chinese soft power, via entities known as “Confucius Institutes.” Billed as being “dedicated to promoting the understanding of Chinese language and culture, and to fostering friendly relations between China and the world,” as a Webster University website reports, the institutes are a perfect fit with American “multiculturalist” education, in which all cultures are, ostensibly, deemed equal. But Confucius Institutes definitely have the goal of ensuring that one culture will be presented as more equal than others.
These entities are run by Confucius Institute Headquarters, known as Hanban, which is essentially an arm of the Chinese Ministry of Education. And the faculty teaching its programs are made in China, exported to the United States in what critics complain is “an exception to the tradition that a university judges who is fit to teach its students,” wrote the Chicago Tribune in December.
Reporting on the topic last week, Campus Reform’s Kaitlyn Schallhorn put the matter in no uncertain terms, citing foreign policy experts and writing, “China has infiltrated American colleges and universities” and is “stifling freedom of debate and creating a base for ‘industrial espionage.’” And how? Follow the money. As Schallhorn tells us:
When American higher education institutions partner with Confucius Institutes … the Institutes will provide the school with an initial $1 million on top of additional funding anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000 per year, according to a report obtained exclusively by Campus Reform from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
“Universities are always on the lookout for money and this money they have gotten comes at a very high price in terms of their integrity and in terms of their academic freedom,” Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at Heritage and author of the report, told Campus Reform in an interview.
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