‘The Communist Chinese government’s attempt to influence academic institutions … is just one part of their aggressive campaign to stifle free speech…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Department of Defense will strip language funding from American universities that host Confucius Institutes, Chinese government-controlled language programs that have become centers of censorship and misinformation.
Beijing sponsors several dozen Confucius Institutes on American campuses, parading them as centers of language and culture.
But the programs have come under scrutiny over the past few years as the institutes’ propaganda-driven mission becomes more apparent.
Several American universities have already taken steps to close their Confucius Institutes, citing concerns of indoctrination and a violation of academic freedom.
But 13 such institutions still exist, and the Pentagon said it will no longer provide monetary support for universities that sponsor them.
Last year, Congress passed a spending bill ending the Pentagon’s support of programs that have Confucius Institutes, unless the Defense Department grants a waiver.
But the Pentagon made it clear that it will grant no such waiver, citing “national security” concerns.
“The law stipulates that the under-secretary of defense for personnel and readiness may grant waivers to the limitation according to the conditions outlined in the law. However, after review, the department has determined that it is not in the national interest to grant waivers to this provision,” Defense Department spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell said, according to Newsweek.
Several universities, like Western Kentucky University, applied for waivers and were informed of the department’s decision, leaving the colleges to decide between language funding from the U.S. or the Chinese government.
WKU decided to close its Confucius Institute; and Arizona State University, San Francisco State University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa will likely do the same.
“The Pentagon is absolutely right to deny federal funding to American universities that have agreements with Chinese state-run Confucius Institutes attempting to infiltrate college campuses, and every other federal agency should follow suit,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a statement.
“The Communist Chinese government’s attempts to influence academic institutions and thwart critical analysis of China’s past and present policies is just one part of their aggressive campaign to stifle free speech and censor information both here at home and abroad.