- China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian criticized the U.S. in a press briefing for designating the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS) as a foreign mission, according to a China Daily Twitter post.
- The updated status doesn’t mean U.S. colleges and universities are obligated to shut down the Confucius Institutes on their campuses, a State Department spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation
- Lijian further said the U.S. should stop with its “Cold War and zero-sum game mindset” and “stop politicizing this educational project,” according to the press conference.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized the U.S. for designating the Confucius Institutes as a foreign mission and said the U.S. must end its “Cold War and zero-sum game mindset” during a press conference Thursday.
“I’d like to stress that the U.S. move is an act to demonize and stigmatize the normal functioning of a China-U.S. cooperation program and we deplore and firmly oppose that,” spokesman Zhao Lijian said in the press conference, according to a translated video shared by China Daily on Twitter.
#FMsays China reserves its rights to make further response to the US move to designate the Confucius Institute US Center as a foreign mission, urging Washington to stop politicizing relevant education exchange programs, FM spokesman Zhao Lijian said. pic.twitter.com/xnJ0AetKVQ
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) August 14, 2020
The State Department designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS) as a foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China Thursday, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo said on a Twitter post.
The Trump administration’s decision to list the center as a foreign mission was to counter increasing influence from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to senior officials. (Related: Harvard Professor’s Arrest For Lying About China Ties Is Part Of Ongoing Crackdown On Chinese Government Influence At American Campuses)
The updated status won’t force colleges and universities in the U.S. to shut down Confucius Institutes on their campus, but it does require “much needed transparency,” a State Department spokesperson said to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“With greater transparency, educational institutions can make more informed choices about whether and how these Beijing-backed programs should continue to teach their students,” the spokesperson added.
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
Confucius Institutes receive funding from The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), an organization affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, according to a 2019 report from the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Hanban also charters the Confucius Institutes and provides the staff, according to the report.
“The United States wants to ensure that students on U.S. campuses have access to Chinese language and cultural offerings free from the manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies,” Pompeo said Thursday in a statement.
“Certain people in the U.S., out of ideological bias and their selfish gains, have been blatantly obstructing the normal functioning of China-U.S. cooperation programs, including the Confucius Institutes. This is totally unacceptable,” Lijian said.
The Confucius Institutes have been connected globally so people can “learn Chinese, know China and enhance their education and cultural exchange in cooperation with China,” Lijian said, adding that the Confucius Institutes have been tied with U.S. colleges and their actions have “been open and transparent.”
“We urge the U.S. to abandon its Cold War and zero-sum game mindset, correct its mistakes and stop politicizing this educational project, stop interfering in the normal people-to-people exchange and stop undermining China-U.S. mutual trust and cooperation. We reserve the right to make further reactions,” Lijian concluded.
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