CCP Propaganda in U.S. Curriculum

CCP Propaganda in U.S. Curriculum

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In 2004, The University of Maryland at College Park opened the first Confucius Institute in America.  The Confucius Institutes (CIs) were designed to provide cash-strapped universities with Chinese language teaching resources courtesy of the Chinese government. This included CCP-backed teachers and curricula. The CCP planned to open 1,000 CI around the world, ushering in a “Confucius revolution.”  

Yet the CIs are not for simply teaching the Chinese language.  Former CCP propaganda chief Li Changchun once described them as “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda setup.” The institutes were set up to spread China’s soft power and disseminate CCP values and narratives around the world. 

Chinese history lessons in CIs classes completely omit important events such as the Great Leap Forward (in the late 50s, a communist campaign that lead to at least 20 million dying) and the Cultural Revolution (another communist campaign in the 60s and 70s that led to millions more dead and a near-total destruction of Chinese culture). Teachers are instructed not discuss, or allow discussion of, sensitive topics like Tibet, the Tiananmen Massacre, Taiwan, and even concepts such as universal values.  Teachers from China signing up to be Institute instructors are told that they cannot be Falun Gong practitioners.  

The Institutes are also used by the CCP to gain leverage over American universities that do not want to lose the financial support the CIs bring. As a result, scheduled visits of the Dalai Lama to universities with CIs have been cancelled, as were exhibits depicting the persecution of Falun Gong. They CIs can also be used as leverage to silence academic staff at the university from publishing articles highly critical of the CCP.

Furthermore, as FBI Director Christopher Wray has publicly warned, the Institutes may be used a launching point for espionage.  

CCP Propaganda in U.S. Curriculum (Continued)

References

  • Foreign Policy: Chinese Propaganda Has No Place on Campus
  • Hong Kong Free Press: How China’s overseas Confucius Institutes pose a powerful threat to academic freedom
  • The Globe and Mail: McMaster closing Confucius Institute over hiring issues
  • The Asia-Pacific Journal: Confucius Institutes: Academic Malware
  • Washington Post: Preventing Chinese espionage at America’s universities

Videos

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