Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) introduced a bill Wednesday that takes aim at curbing China’s growing influence on college campuses.
The bill specifically targets the rise of China’s Confucius Institute programs. The Chinese government has used the so-called cultural centers to coerce Chinese students into spying and limit academic freedom on campus. As of February 2021, some 48 American colleges and universities retain a Confucius Institute.
Often, Confucius Institutes are not required by law to disclose their business dealings with American schools, even after former secretary of state Mike Pompeo declared them “foreign missions” of the Chinese Communist Party in August 2020. The CCP program also has an associated K-12 program called Confucius Classrooms, which touts about 500 partner schools within the United States. Wilson told the Washington Free Beacon that his bill would work as a bulwark against Chinese propaganda on college campuses.
“Chinese Communist Party propaganda does not belong on American college campuses. Not only have CCP leaders touted Confucius Institutes as an arm of propaganda, but these institutes also have a history of limiting free speech and exerting control at American colleges and universities,” Wilson said. “Institutions of higher education need to be transparent to both their students and the American public, especially when contracts and funding are being sourced from foreign governments. That is what the Foreign Influence Transparency Act works to accomplish.”- READ MORE
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