Another Chinese 'propaganda' center shutters amid US-China tensions
- The University of Delaware has joined a growing number of universities that have forced to shut down their Chinese funded Confucius Institutes.
- Universities across the country are being forced to close their institutes after Congress banned them from receiving Department of Defense funding due to concerns about the institutes' furnishing of Chinese Communist Party propaganda.
The University of Delaware’s Chinese-funded Confucius Institute is closing amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China.
Student newspaper The Review reveals that the University of Delaware’s institute will shutter in February 2020, following more than 15 other universities that have closed their Confucius Institutes after U.S. intelligence agencies raised concerns that the entities were spreading propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party under the guise of educating students on Chinese language and culture.
Associate Deputy Provost Ravi Ammigan stated that he does not expect the change to be a detriment to students looking for opportunities within the university’s international programs, noting that the school’s Office for International Students & Scholars will expand to compensate for the closing of the institute.
“I don’t believe the UDCI situation will decrease service to international students," Ammigan said to The Review. "OISS ranks 19th globally for international students. I think that’s very telling."
Last year, Congress barred all universities hosting Confucius Institutes from receiving Department of Defense funding. Several institutes applied for waivers, which were denied.
Former Chinese government official and propaganda minister Liu Yushan admitted that the Chinese government uses Confucius Institutes to “actively carry out international propaganda battles against issues such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, human rights and Falun gong,” according to a 2018 Politico report.
"The [Chinese Communist Party] provides ‘strings-attached' funding to academic institutions and think tanks to deter research that casts it in a negative light," according to CIA reports obtained by the Washington Free Beacon last year.
"It has used this tactic to reward pro-China viewpoints and coerce Western academic publications and conferences to self-censor. The CCP often denies visas to academics who criticize the regime, encouraging many China scholars to preemptively self-censor so they can maintain access to the country on which their research depends."
Arizona State University, the University of Oregon, Western Kentucky University, San Francisco State University, and the University of Florida have also recently closed their Confucius Institutes. However, dozens of such centers still operate on college campuses across the country.
Some colleges, though, have refused to close their Confucius Institute, despite warnings from the federal government.
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