EXCLUSIVE: OU asked Chinese government to supply 'teaching materials' for its Confucius Institute, contracts reveal

Campus Reform obtained the contracts between the communist regime and the University of Oklahoma.

The Trump administration warned that Confucius Institutes are utilized to advocate for Chinese communism in the United States.

A public records request has revealed that the University of Oklahoma let Beijing Normal University choose the curriculum for its Confucius Institute.

Campus Reform obtained the establishment contract for the University of Oklahoma’s Confucius Institute, which was officially shuttered in October 2020 upon recommendations from the U.S. State Department.

Confucius Institutes are joint initiatives between Chinese and American universities that are affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education. The contract obligated Beijing Normal University to provide $100,000 in startup capital, 3,000 “volumes of books, audio-visual, and multimedia material,” and “one or two Chinese instructors” to work at OU’s now defunct Confucius Institute. 

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The first letter of intent for the Confucius Institute was signed by Hanban, the Confucius Institute headquarters, and an official from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. 

A separate letter of intent signed by former University of Oklahoma president David Boren and Chinese Language Council International director general Lin Xu proclaimed a “common interest in and commitment to the values of international language” and “culture exchange and educational cooperation.”

Though they are marketed as language and cultural exchanges, Confucius Institutes were designated by the Trump administration last year as a “foreign mission” meant to spread the Chinese Communist Party’s ideology in the United States.

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In spring 2021, Campus Reform analyzed thirty-two establishment agreements between American universities and the Confucius Institute Headquarters. In most of the contracts, the American host universities surrendered significant control of their Confucius Institutes to the Chinese government.

Campus Reform received the following statement from the University of Oklahoma, “Although allowed by contract, the OU Confucius Institute did not offer or support any university courses. As such, it had no impact whatsoever on University curriculum.”