US proves to be such a narrow-minded country

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/24 0:13:39

Recently, some members of the US elite have been attacking Confucius Institutes. The Hill on Thursday published an article with the headline "Get China's pernicious Confucius Institutes out of US colleges." The campaign against Confucius Institutes seems to be led by Senator Mark Rubio and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Rubio wrote a letter to Florida schools, urging them to shut down Confucius Institutes. Wray revealed that FBI is taking "investigative steps" regarding Confucius Institutes.

The witch hunt by members of the US elite against Confucius Institutes surprised us. We can imagine that there might be some friction between the institutes and US culture and maybe the institutes might need to consider adjustment. But Confucius Institutes were opened with good intentions to broaden cultural exchanges between China and the US. The fact that these powerful Americans grind their teeth against the Confucius Institute seems to be a form of hysterical American nationalism.

All Confucius Institutes in the US were established by both the Chinese and the US sides by applications from the US schools. For a senior intelligence official to suspect Confucius Institutes of being involved in intelligence work and the mainstream media to call for them to be driven out of the country is a sign of extreme xenophobia that can only be seen during China's Cultural Revolution (1966-76). In the four decades of reform and opening-up, China's cognition of the outside world has experienced ups and downs, but no Chinese official would publicly accuse a certain type of foreign institution of being an "intelligence outpost," nor would any media call for that institution to get out of China.

Some Americans are saying the institutes are sabotaging academic freedom in colleges. This is an exaggeration of a cultural difference. Most teachers and volunteers in the institutes are young Chinese graduates, inept at intelligence work. It would be a great waste of money if China siphoned intelligence funds into them.

From its attitude toward Confucius Institutes, we can see just how extreme and lacking in confidence the US could become. Since Washington has defined China as a strategic competitor, this definition will affect how US society perceives China.

From these reactions, we know that China's opening-up in recent years is thorough. We did not let national vigilance obstruct our opening-up and have stuck to our strategic choice, which was no easy task.

The US has a short national history. It experienced mostly good times and little tumbles. It panics easily in the face of challenges. So let it reflect itself upon the overall trend of globalization.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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