Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, along with other co-sponsors, introduced Thursday a bill called the Higher Education Transparency Act, which would seek to expose Confucius Institutes and other foreign-influenced programs in U.S. colleges and universities.
The legislation would require full transparency of public and private educational institutions to expose Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-funded Confucius Institutes (CIs) and other foreign-influenced programs often disguised as cultural and language programs.
Like much of the population, especially the more conservative sectors, Gosar expressed great concern about the mechanisms used by the CCP to introduce its communist propaganda into U.S. educational institutions.
Gosar, on Thursday, posted the following message on Twitter while introducing his bill:
“Confucius Institutes at U.S. colleges and universities are spewing CCP propaganda. Today I introduced the Higher Education Transparency Act, which mandates oversight and transparency over Confucius Institutes and foreign influence programs.”
Confucius Institutes at U.S. colleges and universities are spewing CCP propaganda. Today I introduced the Higher Education Transparency Act which mandates oversight and transparency over Confucius Institutes and foreign influence programs: https://t.co/ukHhw2goD0
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) April 2, 2021
CIs “serve as a platform to advance China’s political agenda by allowing it to export its state censorship, control academic staff, choose curriculum, and restrict free speech and debate in college classrooms,” Gosar said in a statement.
Innocently presented as cultural and language centers, CIs are funded by the CCP and have succeeded in generating great debate over their role in spreading communist propaganda and stifling academic expression on university campuses worldwide.
“Unfortunately, foreign entities disguising themselves as cultural education institutions raise many concerns about academic freedom and autonomy on our public universities,” he continued.
The CIs are funded and managed mainly by Hanban. This non-profit organization claims to be non-governmental but is directly controlled by the CCP, the Senate National Security committee’s subcommittee on investigations reported.
The ill intentions of ICs were especially exposed by U.S. officials under the Trump administration, arguing and demonstrating that they are bent on spreading communist ideals, restricting academic freedom, and facilitating CCP espionage in U.S. classrooms.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in August 2020 that the United States was declaring ICs a foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“Today, the @StateDept designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC, recognizing it for what it is: an entity controlled by the PRC that advances Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.”
Today the @StateDept designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC, recognizing it for what it is: an entity controlled by the PRC that advances Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 13, 2020
On December 31, former President Donald Trump signed a proposal to “establish a requirement that schools certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program disclose agreements with Confucius Institutes and Classrooms,” which was intended to monitor educational institutions’ activities with CCP cultural programs.
However, on January 16, the Biden administration rescinded Trump’s proposal without notifying the press and opened the way again to its free penetration. For this reason, it is crucial that the bill presented by Gosar finally succeeds.
There are currently 50 ICs in the country, including eight that are scheduled to close. Of these, 44 are at U.S. colleges and universities, and one is at a private educational organization, the China Institute. There are also five CIs in K-12 public school districts.