News and Commentary

Biden Drops Plan To Track Chinese Communist Influence In American Schools: Report
(L-R) US Vice President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Secretary of State John Kerry make a toast during a State Luncheon for China hosted by Kerry on September 25, 2015 at the Department of State in Washington, DC.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Democrat President Joe Biden has reportedly canceled a plan put in place by the Trump administration that would track the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the U.S. education system.

“Around 500 K-12 schools and 65 colleges in the U.S. have partnerships with the Confucius Institute U.S. Center, a U.S.-based affiliate of the Beijing-based Confucius Institute Headquarters. The institute, also known as Hanban, is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education,” the Daily Caller News Foundation reported. “Many of Hanban’s directors are members of the Chinese Communist Party or have close ties to the organization.”

The Trump administration submitted a rule at the very end of last year titled: “Establishing Requirement for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Certified Schools to Disclose Agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms.” The new Biden administration withdrew the proposed rule to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just a few days after Biden was inaugurated.

“The rule would require colleges and K-12 schools that are certified to have foreign exchange programs to disclose any contracts, partnerships or financial transactions from Confucius Institutes or Classrooms,” Axios reported last month. “A report from the Senate’s Permanent Select Committee on Investigations found that nearly 70% of schools receiving more than $250,000 from organizations related to the Chinese government did not report the funding as legally required.”

The report further noted that China’s influence in U.S. classrooms through Confucius Institutes was of particular concern to U.S. officials, especially Republicans. The report said U.S. officials were alarmed by the Confucius Institutes “because they are funded and staffed by the Chinese Ministry of Education, and in numerous cases they have censored curricula and events.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — a former CIA director who graduated #1 in his class at West Point Military Academy — warned last year that communist China “has taken advantage of America’s openness to undertake large scale and well-funded propaganda efforts and influence operations in this country.”

Pompeo made the remarks in a statement where he announced that the U.S. was designating Confucius Institutes a foreign mission of communist China.

“Today, the Department of State designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC, recognizing CIUS for what it is:  an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms,” Pompeo said. “Confucius Institutes are funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”

“The goal of these actions is simple: to ensure that American educators and school administrators can make informed choices about whether these CCP-backed programs should be allowed to continue, and if so, in what fashion,” he added. “Universities around the country and around the world are examining the Confucius Institutes’ curriculum and the scope of Beijing’s influence in their education systems. The United States wants to ensure that students on U.S. campuses have access to Chinese language and cultural offerings free from the manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies.”

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