WATCH: Biden CIA pick issues warning to colleges with Confucius Institutes

President Joe Biden's nominee for CIA Director said that Confucius Institutes "promote a narrative of Xi Jinping's China" and advised colleges that operate the centers to close them down.

There are still dozens of Confucius Institutes in operation at colleges and universities around the country.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for CIA Director, William Burns, testified during his confirmation hearing Wednesday that colleges with Confucius Institutes should “be extraordinarily careful” and consider cutting ties with the Chinese propaganda organization Hanban, which operates these institutes. 

The former ambassador to Jordan and Russia, as well as former deputy secretary of state, told the committee, “What the Confucius Institutes to promote a narrative of Xi Jinping’s China, which is designed to build sympathy for what is, in my view, a quite aggressive leadership.”

[RELATED: Biden quietly nixes Trump-era rule combating Chinese Communist-funded ‘propaganda’ centers]

”That particular dimension of foreign influence operations constitutes a genuine risk,” he continued, further warning colleges with Confucius Institutes to “be very careful in engaging them.” 

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) asked if Burns would recommend shuttering the Confucius Institutes. He replied, “If I were president of a college or university that had a Confucius Institute, that’s certainly what I would do.” 

[RELATED: House Republicans urge Biden to reconsider rule on CCP’s Confucius Institutes]

According to his State Department biography, Burns served as the Deputy Secretary of State during President Barack Obama’s second term. 

Campus Reform has previously reported that the Biden administration canceled a proposed rule that would have required colleges and universities to disclose their contracts with Hanban. The rule was proposed during the Trump administration. Members of the House GOP have asked Biden to reconsider, and have proposed legislation that would reinstate the disclosure requirement. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito