Senate passes Confucius Act, aims to protect US colleges from Chinese influence

The act was passed by unanimous consent.

U.S. senators passed a new bill to focus on concerns with Confucius Institutes blocking speech critical of China on U.S. college campuses.

The U.S. Senate passed a new bill to protect free speech on American college campuses with the main focus on the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institutes, which U.S. intelligence officials have said operate as propaganda centers. 

The Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States (Confucius) Act was passed by a unanimous vote and sponsored by Sen. Marsha Blackburn(R-Tenn.), John Kennedy( R-La.), Doug Jones( D-Ala.), and Chuck Grassley(R-Iowa). 

The new bill would require schools with Confucius Institutes to “protect academic freedom at the institution” where the Confucius Institute exists, “prohibit the application of any foreign law on any campus of the institution,” and “grant full managerial authority of the Confucius Institute to the institution, including full control over what is being taught, the activities carried out, the research grants that are made, and who is employed at the Confucius Institute.”

Failure to do any of these would result in the revocation of the Department of Education funding from the university. 

[RELATED: University changes tone, shutters Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institute]

“The Chinese Communist Party has used deceptive tactics to infiltrate our U.S. university campuses and K-12 classrooms,” stated Sen. Blackburn. “Those studying Chinese culture and language at Confucius Institutes should be alarmed to learn that these facilities are a part of the Communist party propaganda.”

Sen. Kennedy also made a statement regarding the Confucius Institutes, saying “the Chinese Communist Party has made nests for its propaganda on college campuses all over our country. Confucius Institutes are threatening academic liberty and free speech without shame, and too many American schools have fallen victim to the political con.”

[RELATED: Here are the Chinese ‘propaganda’ centers currently operating in the US]

There are currently dozens of Confucius Institutes actively operating on American college campuses. 

The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzalez told Campus Reform that “the Confucius Institutes put us in a quandary. I don’t want to tell private institutions what to do, obviously state universities are case apart.”

“But, the problem is that they [Confucius Institutes] report, Han Ban reports to the Politburo. It is a Communist party-run institute and what they try to do is export the censorship that the Communist party imposes on the Chinese people, they are trying to export it to the United States,” Gonzalez explained. 

“So, there is something obviously very wrong with that and we don’t know what is inside these little secret contracts. But, it is clear from everything here is that any mention of the three T’s; Tibet, Taiwan, or Tiananmen is not allowed to happen.”

“All of these institutes, the Chinese Communist Party behaving in a repressive manner and they have all the money in the world, then giving these colleges a lot of money in exchange for what appears to be censorship,” he added. 

Gonzales went on to state that the United States is engaged in “a pig power competition” with China, and that Americans need to begin to understand the “true nature of the Chinese government,” adding that academics “especially” need to see the light of the “true nature of the Chinese government, the Chinese regime, and system.” 

“Anything that gets in the way of our scholars learning what China really is about is something that should concern us,” he added.

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