Senate bill to tighten controls on Confucius Institutes

The United States Senate on Thursday 4 March approved by unanimous consent a bill that would increase oversight on Confucius Institutes, China-funded cultural centres that operate on university campuses. The bill would cut federal funds to universities and colleges that have Confucius Institutes that fail to comply with new oversight rules and regulations, writes Christian Nunley for CNBC.

According to Human Rights Watch, Confucius Institutes “are Chinese government-funded outposts that offer Chinese language and culture classes”. However, some politicians, particularly Republicans, have accused them of spreading propaganda. “Confucius Institutes are under the control of the Chinese Communist Party in all but name,” said Senator John Kennedy, Republican-Louisiana, who introduced the bill. “This bill would give colleges and universities full control over their resident Confucius Institutes and restore freedom of thought on their campuses.”

Long before the lawmakers raised alarms, university professors signalled problems with the institutes. The American Association of University Professors released a report in 2014 that recommended colleges take a deeper look at curricula and agendas brought forth in the classroom.
Full report on the CNBC site