VIDEO: Students trust communist Chinese government over Trump, U.S. intel
Amid U.S. trade battles with China, another battle is happening on American college campuses.
Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips went to UMD to ask students who they trust more, the communist Chinese government or the Trump administration.
In the midst of U.S. controversies with China, another battle is raging with the communist power- this one on college campuses.
In recent years, Confucius Institute ‘cultural exchange’ centers, funded by the Chinese government, have come under fire after the CIA released a report deeming them national security threats.
Among other things, the institutes can serve as “spying centers” for the Chinese Communist Party, and according to CIA Director Christopher Wray “exploit the very open research and development environment that we have.”
While the Chinese government maintains that the 91 Confucius Institutes still present on campuses around the country are focused solely on teaching Mandarin and spreading Chinese culture, the Trump administration, as well as Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintain that the centers are propaganda centers for the Chinese Communist Party.
[RELATED: INTERACTIVE MAP: Dozens of Confucius Institutes still operate across US]
What would students think? Would they trust the Chinese government, or the Trump administration and the U.S. intelligence community?
I went to the University of Maryland, home to one of the remaining 91 Confucius Institutes, to ask students for their thoughts.
It soon became clear that students were quick to trust the Chinese government’s explanation over the concerns of the Trump administration and U.S. intelligence agencies.
“I side with the Chinese, I don’t think it’s propaganda,” one student said, while another added, “I don’t know anything about the Chinese government to know if they have a reputation for honesty or dishonesty, but I know enough about Trump to know he has a reputation for dishonesty.”
Some students found the push to remove the centers from campus “racist,” saying “the Trump administration is very anti-intellectual, anti-university, calling them liberal propaganda machines. So it’s not only a racist attack, but it’s also anti-intellectual.”
What would students say when I asked how they could trust a government that imprisons its own people by the millions and denies basic human rights?
[RELATED: Experts fear Confucius Institutes serve Chinese interests...but some colleges are keeping them]
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Cabot_Phillips