Senate passes bill to combat Chinese Communist Party propaganda on campus

The U.S Senate passed legislation that would protect students' free speech at Confucius Institutes that operate on American college campuses.

The legislation would restrict how much control China has over Confucius Institutes.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation aimed at protecting American universities from free speech violations enforced by Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes on college campuses.

The CONFUCIUS Act (Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States) would, according to a press release by Republican co-sponsor Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), protect academic freedom at the host-institution, prohibit any foreign law from being applied on the host institution’s campus, as well as grant full control of the Confucius Institute’s activities to the host-institution.

The legislation was co-sponsored by Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) and passed the Senate on March 4. It now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for the lower chamber’s consideration.

[RELATED: Calls to close CCP-funded Confucius Institutes grow louder. Here’s what’s fueling them.]

“Confucius Institutes are an echo chamber for the Chinese Communist Party and threaten free speech in American colleges and universities,” Senator Tillis said on March 5, “I hope the House chooses to protect freedom of thought on college campuses and join us in passing the CONFUCIUS Act.”

The CONFUCIUS Act passed the Senate during heightened awareness of the Chinese Communist Party’s role in censoring the content of courses taught in Confucius Institutes. As Campus Reform has previously reported, Confucius Institutes omit anything in Chinese history or culture that could portray an unfavorable view of the Chinese Communist Party.

The legislation also came following the Biden administration’s move to quietly pull a rule aimed to force American universities with Confucius Institutes to disclose their contracts with China.

[RELATED: Newly obtained documents reveal disturbing details of Chinese influence on campus]

In August, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Confucius Institutes are a “foreign mission” of the People’s Republic of China.

Pompeo went on to say that Confucius Institutes are “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.” The organization is “funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”

Follow the author of this article: Dion J. Pierre