China demands USA stop 'attacking' Confucius Institutes
A top Chinese government official issued the demand, which accompanied a list of 'wrongdoings' by the US.
At least 14 Confucius Institutes have closed in the United States over the past year.
A top official from the Chinese government issued the United States a list of "wrongdoings," which included "attacks" on Confucius Institutes operating in America.
The list of "wrongdoings" was given to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng on July 26, and detailed that the United States must "stop attacking the Confucius Institute."
Confucius Institutes are joint educational initiatives between Chinese and American universities, with some oversight from Hanban, a wing of the Chinese government. Although they are marketed as language and cultural exchanges, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the program as a “foreign mission” of the People’s Republic of China that is “part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus."
During the July meeting, Chinese government officials also listed several other "wrongdoings," being committed by the USA, such as registering Chinese media as "foreign agents."
"In the list of wrongdoings, China urges the US side to unconditionally revoke visa restrictions on members of the Communist Party of China and their family members, revoke sanctions on Chinese leaders, officials and government agencies, cancel visa restrictions on Chinese students, stop suppressing Chinese companies, stop harassing Chinese students overseas, stop attacking the Confucius Institute, remove the registration of Chinese media as foreign agents or foreign missions," a press release from the Chinese government states.
According to a March Campus Reform report, at least 56 Confucius Institutes remain in operation, though some of those are scheduled to close in 2021. At least 14 colleges and universities have closed their Confucius Institute between 2020 and 2021, according to the report.
The Joe Biden administration quietly revoked a rule that would have compelled all primary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions to disclose all contracts and transactions with the Confucius Institute. Schools who did not report this information could have lost certification for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, as Campus Reform reported.
At the meeting, Feng called the United States a "bully" as well, and said that the U.S. operates off of a "rules-based international order."
"The U.S. side's so-called “rules-based international order” is an effort by the United States and a few other Western countries to frame their own rules as international rules and impose them on other countries. The United States has abandoned the universally-recognized international law and order and damaged the international system it has helped to build. And it is trying to replace it with a so-called “rules-based international order”. The purpose is to resort to the tactic of changing the rules to make life easy for itself and hard for others, and to introduce “the law of the jungle" where might is right and the big bully the small," Feng said.