The Confucius Institute’s presence can be found at many universities in the United States and other countries. Sure, the Confucius Institute sounds like a harmless language program being offered at your university. But it’s also been accused by a U.S. House foreign affairs committee of engaging in industrial and military espionage, has been called “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda setup,” by the former head of China’s Propaganda Department, and is controlled by Chinese embassies and consulates.
China has spent over $10 billion in four years on the Institute.
The Toronto District School Board in Canada almost got its very own Confucius Institute—until a massive outcry by parents unleashed a storm of protest, revealed some very shady dealings, and may have lead to the sudden retirement of Chris Bolton, the TDSB chair. Most of the trustees at the school board didn’t really understand what the institute was about. An informed parent alerted the board and other parents about it.
It wasn’t even on the agenda to discuss in a board meeting originally, but after the concerns were raised, they talked about it for two hours.
The communist propaganda is not always veiled in the language classes offered at the Confucius Institute. Lyrics of a song used in the classes read, “Our mighty leader Chairman Mao, leading us all forward!”
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