EDITOR NOTE: American universities are fertile ground for intellectual and ideological transformation. After all, that’s what school is about--learning about and trying different ideas. On the far end of open exchange, this also makes universities conducive to propaganda, and on the most extreme end, recruitment. The Biden administration is allowing the Confucius Institute, a Chinese government-funded educational program, to provide classes on American campuses. Critics say that the Institute is not taking a critical and balanced approach to its teaching of Chinese culture. When you can’t take a position against the information you propose--when the information is to be viewed one way only--then you’re likely presenting propaganda. Due to its non-critical stance, the Confucius Institute is seen as either an advocacy platform for Chinese propaganda and misinformation or, more aggressively, a recruitment tool for Chinese espionage. Not surprisingly, the liberal sentiment permeating the US government majority would allow for this to happen. But there’s a difference between learning about ultra-liberal views and making those views operational. It’s the difference between education and brainwashing.
The Department of Homeland Security has dropped plans for a federal rule that would have required American schools and universities to disclose agreements with Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes on their campuses.
A Federal Register notice said the rule, first proposed Dec. 31 at the end of the Trump administration, was withdrawn Jan. 26 without comment.
Confucius Institutes and Confucius Schools operate as education centers that ostensibly teach Chinese culture and language. Federal authorities, however, say the institutes are stalking horses for covert Chinese government influence efforts.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said the institutes engage in covert influence operations designed to sway American public opinion and teach half-truths about China. Under pressure from the Trump administration, scores of the institutes were closed.
“For years, I have raised the alarm about the threat posed by Chinese government-run Confucius Institutes, and the FBI has warned that the Communist Party uses these entities to infiltrate American schools,” Mr. Rubio told Inside the Ring. “President Trump and his administration took a positive step in mandating schools and universities disclose their partnerships with these agents of Chinese government influence. That President Biden would undo this important action is deeply disturbing.”
Mr. Rubio said that by failing to hold China accountable for running foreign influence operations, “the Biden administration is calling into question its stated commitment to maintain a policy that treats China as a strategic competitor and protects American interests and values from its malign influence.”
Rep. Michael T. McCaul of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the institutes pose security threats to the education system.
Originally posted on The Washington Times