State moves to shut down Chinese influence operation


President Trump had enacted a policy to pressure universities to disclose any contracts and transactions with the Chinese Communist Party-sponsored Confucius Institutes.

The aim was to reduce the “global propaganda and malign influence campaign” the organization carried out.

President Biden eliminated Trump’s order, but at least one state has moved to restore the policy.

Campus Reform reports a resolution under consideration in Utah’s state House would close the last remaining Confucius Institutes in the state, at the University of Utah and Southern Utah University.

The resolution cites the institutes’ propaganda and the dishonesty in their portrayal of China, the report said.

The proposal, Joint Resolution to Protect Utah’s Institutions of Higher Education from Chinese Communist Party Influence, calls on colleges and universities to shut down the operations.

The proposal from state Rep. Candice Pierucci, a Republican, seeks to free education in the state from “manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies.”

The FBI and the American Association of University Professors have raised concerns over the influence of the institutes.

“Students should not be taught a sanitized history of China, they should be receiving a comprehensive education enlightened with real facts and a serious understanding of the human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government,” Pierucci said.

WND reported Biden’s decision to restore China’s ability to influence American education through the institutes. He dropped Trump’s requirement that had universities disclose any contracts and transactions with the institute by primary, secondary and postsecondary institutions.

Seth Cropsey of the Center for American Seapower at the Hudson Institute told Campus Reform it is “not normal practice, and for good reason – namely, academic independence and freedom – to allow an outside organization … to say nothing of a country that is a strategic competitor to the United States, to be able to choose professors in a program … within a university.”

In August, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially declared the Confucius Institute a “foreign mission” of the People’s Republic of China.

Pompeo said it’s “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.”

Earlier in the Trump administration, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, added a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act that barred the funding of Confucius Institutes, and Trump signed the legislation.

Campus Reform noted American universities took more than $24 million from Chinese Communist Party sources in recent years.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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