The Biden administration is receiving backlash for rescinding a rule that former President Donald Trump submitted to the Department of Homeland Security requiring universities in the U.S. to reveal their ties with Confucius Institutes.
The Trump administration submitted the proposed rule on Dec. 31, 2020. But, less than one week into the Biden administration, the policy was withdrawn.
Confucius Institutes recognized within the U.S. aim to teach Chinese language and culture, however, they are facing further scrutiny amid claims that there is dissemination of propaganda, spreading of Chinese censorship, and possible espionage, according to Ink Stone News.
Last August, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo named Confucius Institutes a “foreign mission” of the People’s Republic of China.
Pompeo noted that the Confucius Institute is “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.” The institutes are “funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus,” he added.
And Human Rights Watch cautioned in its 2019 report on China that, “Confucius Institutes are extensions of the Chinese government that censor certain topics and perspectives in course materials on political grounds, and use hiring practices that take political loyalty into consideration.”
In a statement released last Tuesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican, Michael McCaul strongly encouraged the Biden administration to pay particular attention to the CCP and its ties to American school systems.
“By quietly backing away from the proposed rule without consulting Congress, the Biden administration is sending a concerning signal about its scrutiny of CCP influence in academia, and telling academic institutions that they don’t need to be transparent about their ties to China’s regime. It’s all the more disturbing because the education industry already fails to report billions of dollars of foreign gifts and contracts. I strongly urge the Biden Administration to stick to its promises to prioritize the CCP as our main national security challenge, including in the American education system.”
Campus Reform reported that some American universities have received more than $24 million from CCP sources since 2015. A significant amount of the funding was given to resources for divisions of the Confucius Institute.