Confucius Institutes face closure under veto laws

Australian universities face having their controversial Confucius Institutes shut down within months, with the University of Sydney among the first to submit contracts for scrutiny under the Commonwealth’s foreign veto scheme, writes Lisa Visentin for The Sydney Morning Herald.

At least one centre – RMIT University’s Chinese Medicine Confucius Institute – will close this year, with the university saying it would cease operations due to budget pressures caused by COVID-19.

The institutes, which are hosted by 13 Australian universities in partnership with Chinese universities, have come under scrutiny from the federal government amid concerns they function as a plank of the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda effort. Foreign Minister Marise Payne last month warned “further decisions” were forthcoming as she exercised new veto powers to terminate Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road agreement with China, as well as two education agreements made by the state government – one with Iran and one with Syria.
Full report on The Sydney Morning Herald site