News

U.S.

State Department to Require Chinese ‘Confucius Institutes’ to Register as Foreign Agents: Report

Red flags outside the Great Hall of the People during the closing session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, China, March 13, 2019. (Reuters)

The U.S. State Department could move as early as Thursday to announce that Chinese “Confucius institutes” will be required to register as foreign agents, Bloomberg reported.

Confucius institutes are Chinese government-funded centers on college campuses in the U.S. and throughout the world, whose stated aim is to promote knowledge of Chinese language and culture. However, U.S. agencies and elected officials have warned that the institutes serve as propaganda centers used by China to project soft power abroad.

The State Department’s reported decision would label the institutes as “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by a foreign entity. Earlier this year, the State Department applied the same designation to various Chinese state media outlets, including the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, and China Global Television Network.

There are roughly 100 Confucius institutes currently operating in the U.S., some of which have closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The national leadership of U.S. college Republicans and Democrats have called for all such institutes to be closed, citing the Chinese government’s human rights abuses.

The institutes are one aspect of what U.S. officials see as a Chinese campaign of influence at American universities. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee in May launched a probe of foreign funding at American universities, with ranking member Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) saying “We cannot allow a dangerous communist regime to buy access to our institutions of higher education, plain and simple.” A separate probe by the Department of Education has uncovered at least $6 billion in unreported donations to various universities from foreign governments.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

Biden Owes the Country More

Tuesday night was a national embarrassment, and both candidates are to blame. Donald Trump came into the evening apparently determined to dominate the discussion, and he did. To some extent, I think it was effective; he certainly came off as the warmer body with more ideas about what America should be and with ... Read More
Elections

Biden Owes the Country More

Tuesday night was a national embarrassment, and both candidates are to blame. Donald Trump came into the evening apparently determined to dominate the discussion, and he did. To some extent, I think it was effective; he certainly came off as the warmer body with more ideas about what America should be and with ... Read More
Elections

The Establishment vs. the Radicals

Today is the first day of October. If you think 2020 has been rough, you’ve just got to make it through three more months. We can do this. On the menu today: a long look at the simmering behind-the-scenes fight between the Democratic Party’s establishment and radicals over who will be calling the shots in ... Read More
Elections

The Establishment vs. the Radicals

Today is the first day of October. If you think 2020 has been rough, you’ve just got to make it through three more months. We can do this. On the menu today: a long look at the simmering behind-the-scenes fight between the Democratic Party’s establishment and radicals over who will be calling the shots in ... Read More
Elections

The First Debate Showed Why Biden Will Win

Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and that will be enough to win him the election this November. This much has been clear since Super Tuesday this year during the Democratic primaries. In 2016, Hillary split several very important states with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, and those she won, she won without ... Read More
Elections

The First Debate Showed Why Biden Will Win

Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and that will be enough to win him the election this November. This much has been clear since Super Tuesday this year during the Democratic primaries. In 2016, Hillary split several very important states with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, and those she won, she won without ... Read More

Trump vs. Trump

I don’t wish to discuss the debate because I’m not a masochist. It was a crap crêpe. A turd taco. Fecal flan. The American people could be forgiven for rising as one and declaring to Donald Trump and Joe Biden, “Everyone in this country is now dumber for having listened to you. I award you no points, and ... Read More

Trump vs. Trump

I don’t wish to discuss the debate because I’m not a masochist. It was a crap crêpe. A turd taco. Fecal flan. The American people could be forgiven for rising as one and declaring to Donald Trump and Joe Biden, “Everyone in this country is now dumber for having listened to you. I award you no points, and ... Read More