Responding to public scrutiny and government policies cracking down on Chinese Communist Party propaganda and influence in American education, Beijing has been rebranding its infamous “Confucius Institutes” and the subversive programs associated with them. But the rot is still there, according to an explosive new report.
So controversial were these CCP-controlled institutions that then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted them for “advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.” In recent years, with authorities and the public becoming increasingly alarmed, the network appeared to be in retreat.
But according to the new report by the conservative-leaning National Association of Scholars (NAS), about two thirds of the more than 100 colleges and universities where a CCP-backed Confucius Institute shut down already have similar programs with different names. And the programs still have close ties to Beijing.
The NAS report, headlined “After Confucius Institutes: China’s Enduring Influence on American Higher Education,” found that the vast majority of the Confucius Institutes had either been shuttered or were in the process of being closed since the public became aware of what was going on. However, the danger remains acute — and most simply had the programs rebranded.
The institutes, which took root in educational institutions all across the nation, were funded and guided by the CCP, the most murderous organization in human history. According to authorities cited by The Epoch Times, the CCP was even picking the textbooks and sending its minions to America to promote its agenda and spy. The U.S. Senate found that the regime had spent over $150 million on the scheme since 2006.
CCP Politburo member Li Changchun said the institutes were “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda setup.” The vast network is associated with the CCP United Front Work Department, which handles overseas influence operations, according to the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission.
The NAS study found an alarming lack of concern among American educational institutions about the threat. Most that closed their Confucius Institutes, for instance, said the main reason was to replace them with similar programs. Just five universities expressed concerns about the danger of the CCP regime’s influence in U.S. education.
“Five years ago, with Outsourced to China, NAS detailed how the Chinese government uses Confucius Institutes as central nodes in its overseas influence campaign,” said Rachelle Peterson, senior research fellow at NAS and co-author of the After Confucius Institutes report. “Now, we show that despite the demise of Confucius Institutes, colleges and universities have naively signed up for very similar programs under new names.”
Among other recommendations, the NAS called on the federal government to restrict taxpayer funding to colleges that host CCP operations. It also called for more transparency in disclosing foreign money flowing to American universities — especially CCP money. Finally, the conservative-leaning academic network called on policymakers to commission a study on the problem.
With taxpayer-funded “educational” institutions across America blatantly indoctrinating their victims into Marxist ideology without foreign prodding, it is hardly surprising to learn that they are working with the CCP to supercharge it. But this is a major national security risk and there are red flags everywhere. It’s time for policymakers and education officials to put their foot down.