Marco Rubio targets Confucius Institutes with new bill
Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Joe Wilson proposed legislation seeking to promote transparency with respect to the Chinese government’s Confucius Institutes.
The bill would also force universities to reveal more of their foreign donations.
Two Republican lawmakers proposed legislation seeking to promote transparency with respect to the Chinese government’s Confucius Institutes.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, which “would require organizations, such as the Chinese government-run Confucius Institutes” to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires American organizations to reveal ties with certain overseas entities.
The bill would amend the Higher Education Act to “require universities to disclose donations, contracts, or the fair market value of in-kind gifts from any foreign source if the amount is $50,000 or greater.” Currently, universities and other educational institutions must report foreign gifts only if the amount exceeds $250,000.
The act would also require “institutions that have entered into an agreement with a Confucius Institute to disclose the full agreement on its website and to the Department of Education or risk losing their Student and Exchange Visitor Program.”
[RELATED: Want more info on UMich China ties? That will cost you $1,200.]
According to a recent Campus Reform analysis, there are currently 56 Confucius Institutes in the U.S., one of which is in Rubio's home state of Florida.
Click here for an interactive map of Confucius Institutes in the U.S.
“I’m proud to once again reintroduce the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, which seeks to bring greater transparency to the activities of foreign governments operating in the United States,” remarked Sen. Rubio in a press release. “This legislation will strengthen foreign disclosure requirements for American colleges and universities and close existing loopholes in our law so that entities like China’s Confucius Institutes are required to register with the Department of Justice as foreign agents.”
Campus Reform has reported extensively on the influence of the Confucius Institute — which masquerades as a Chinese cultural center despite its propagandistic mission — upon America’s education system.
Most recently, Campus Reform reported that House Republicans asked President Joe Biden to reinstate a rule that would force universities to reveal ties to the Confucius Institute. Biden quietly struck the Trump-era measure from the federal record in the first days of his administration.
[RELATED: House Republicans urge Biden to reconsider rule on CCP's Confucius Institutes]
Campus Reform contacted Rubio and Wilson for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft