Confucius Institutes: Victim of Pompeo’s Political Scheme

By Yan Hou Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/14 20:48:00

File photo:Xinhua

On August 13, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US State Department has designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a "foreign mission". The Center will have to report basic information on personnel and property holdings to the department. Without doubt, this is another deliberate provocation after the US government enlisted nine Chinese media outlets as "foreign missions". The announcement will severely obstruct the cultural and people-to people exchanges between China and the US. As a result, the act has drawn strong criticism in and outside the US.

Out of ideological bias, the US government made groundless accusations against Confucius Institutes. Not only does the decision run counter to the aspiration of the two peoples to strengthen communication, but it also goes against the global trend of cultural exchange and mutual learning among different civilizations. What the US government has done is political persecution and another proof that the notorious McCarthyism is creeping back and gaining strength. Pompeo's claim that the Confucius Institute U.S. Center is "an entity advancing Beijing's global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. Campuses" is completely unfounded.

First of all, Confucius Institutes in the United States are established upon the voluntary application of American universities. In accordance with the principles of "mutual respect, friendly consultation, equality and mutual benefit", local universities, Confucius Institute headquarters and Chinese universities sign legally binding cooperation agreement. Besides, the daily operation and management of all Confucius Institutes is lawful, regulation-based,open and transparent. Since 2006, a total of 81 Confucius Institutes and 13 Confucius Classrooms have been set up in the United States, with partners including Stanford University, the University of Maryland and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Second, Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in the US provide the following services: to teach Mandarin;to train Chinese teachers and offer Chinese teaching resources;to carry out Chinese language tests and Chinese teacher certification tests;to provide consultation on Chinese education and culture;to facilitate linguistic and cultural exchange between China and other countries. Each and every of the services is aimed at promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and enhancing understanding and friendship between the two peoples. None of them has anything to do with politics, let alone foreign missions.

Third, as non-profit education organizations, Confucius Institutes have long been praised for promoting Chinese language and culture around the world, strengthening cultural exchange as well as developing friendly relations between China and other countries. They play a positive and constructive role in meeting people's need to learn Chinese and contributing to cultural diversity. Chinese philosophy such as "harmony without uniformity" is widely acknowledged. So far, 541 Confucius Institutes and 1,170 Confucius Classrooms have been set up in 162 countries and regions.

Confucius Institutes originate in China and belong to the world.The splendid cultures created by different peoples are the common treasure of mankind. In a globalized world, all countries should promote cultural exchange, mutual learning and creativity to bring new vitality to the world. However, Pompeo and his like go against the trend out of their own political interest. He has already become the destroyer of international rules and world stability. He'd better not become the terminator of human civilization.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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