In March of this year, the CIA issued a classified report labeling Confucious institutes as a threat.
The CIA has issued a classified report detailing China’s far-reaching foreign influence operations campaign in the United States, which imparts financial incentives as leverage to permeate American institutions.
The University of New Hampshire has had theirs since 2010. But according to the US Intelligence community, these arrangements may “provide ‘strings-attached’ funding to academic institutions and think tanks to deter research that casts (China) in a negative light,”
“It has used this tactic to reward pro-China viewpoints and coerce Western academic publications and conferences to self-censor.”
“Beijing is becoming increasingly aggressive in its aim to exploit America’s academic freedom to instill in the minds of future leaders a pro-China viewpoint,” Rubio said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “Confucius Institutes across the country and my home state of Florida have given China’s communist regime an avenue to covertly influence public opinion and teach half-truths designed to present Chinese history, government or official policy in the most favorable light.”
Read those tea leaves however you’d like but the Federal government has taken steps to stop the “collusion.”
President Trump is about to sign the new National Defense Authorization Act, which will prohibit funding to Chinese-run Confucius Institutes on American campuses.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz added the key amendment to “The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019,” which also restricts funding to universities that host Confucius Institutes and requires them to provide a public record of any agreements or contracts they have with the program, which has deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
If the CIA is correct the Chinese Government has been using that association as not just a pro-China propaganda tool, but to gain access to information, technology, or even engage in espionage where possible.
UNH will deny the allegations but saving face is hardly their biggest problem. Any Federal money they thought they were getting or are chasing will be put on hold until they divest themselves of the association.
In April, Texas A&M University closed its Confucius Institute after receiving pressure from two Texas Representatives, Henry Cuellar and Michael McCaul.
Cuellar and McCaul wrote a joint letter to four Texas universities urging them to sever ties with the Chinese program that they believe is “spreading China’s political agenda, suppressing academic debate, and stealing vital academic research.”
Mr. Trump is scheduled to sign the bill with these new restrictions at an upcoming visit to Fort Drum, New York.