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Republican Voters Overwhelmingly Want To Kick Confucius Institutes Out Of US Schools And Universities: 60% Take A Tough Line On Chinese Communist Party's Language And Cultural Classes

Concerns are growing over China's funding of America's public schools.

The Confucius Institute at Troy University, in Troy, Alabama, was shuttered earlier this year amid a crackdown on foreign funding. Photo: Kreeder13, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Editor's note: This story by James Reinl, based on the Poll, appeared on the DailyMail website.

Republican voters by wide margins want to kick Confucius Institutes out of US schools and universities, with 60 percent seeking to end the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) outreach centers, a poll shows.

Overall, Americans were split on the issue — 40 percent of respondents in our survey wanted Beijing's foreign influence institutes closed, while 39 percent were against such a move.

Another fifth of respondents said they were not sure.

Republicans were the biggest supporters of shuttering them. Former President Donald Trump, his former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, and other GOP heavyweights have pushed for crackdowns on the institutes.

China says that its government-run centers help satisfy a soaring demand from people learning Chinese overseas, but critics say they're little more than a propaganda arm of the ruling CCP.

Overall, Americans were split on shuttering Beijing's overseas cultural and language centers
Overall, Americans were split on shuttering Beijing's overseas cultural and language centers

Haley has warned of Beijing giving 'hundreds of millions of dollars' to US universities and of how its Confucius Institutes are designed to 'spread communist propaganda on college campuses.'

As president, Trump designated the Confucius Institute US Center a foreign mission of the CCP, requiring the Washington DC-based center to submit reports to the US government about its funding, personnel, curriculum and other activities.

Should Trump win a second term as president in the 2024 election, draft proposals for a second administration from the Heritage Foundation indicate he will ban the group, and the social media app TikTok, which has links to China.

Republican Senators Jim Banks and Marco Rubio in June introduced a bill, known as the SPIES Act, to expand funding restrictions for foreign higher education bodies that host Confucius Institutes.

Last month, a report from Parents Defending Education, a right-leaning campaign group, found that Beijing is funding America's public schools to the tune of $17 million dollars.

The study called 'Little Red Classrooms' claims $17 million has been funneled from CCP-linked financial institutions into US K-12 schools, through Confucius Institutes and other cultural and language programs.

The study described close coordination between the CCP and US schools to set up Confucius Classrooms across 143 school districts in 34 states and Washington, DC.

In addition, at least seven contracts are still active in Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington, researchers found.

Former President Donald Trump and his former UN ambassador Nikki Haley are among the 2024 Republican presidential candidates with plans to tighten rules on the institutes
Republican voters by wide margins want to shutter the CCP-linked foreign institutes, as do more than a third of Democrats
At least seven contracts are still active in Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington, says the Parents Defending Education report. Credit:
China's President Xi Jinping is pictured. Concerns are growing over his country's funding of America's public schools. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It also states that the CCP has 'ties to school districts near 20 US military bases' and three of the nation's top science and technology high schools have been infiltrated.

'While the United States is not officially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese state media has touted the work done by Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms to further the Chinese Communist Party's global influence,' the report warns.

China has facilitated these relationships through grants and sister school partnerships going back to 2009. Programming and funding has varied between school districts, the report adds.

The group's president Nicki Neily said in a statement that the 'alarming evidence' uncovered by the investigation should 'concern parents, educators, and policymakers alike.'

Beijing in 2004 started setting up the institutes, which are named after a Chinese philosopher.

Critics say they face CCP censorship on touchy issues, such as human rights abuses in China and the status of Tibet and Taiwan, which are disputed regions.

Supporters say they are a successful example of Beijing's 'soft power.' China has likened them to France's Alliance Francaise and Germany's Goethe-Institut, which promote those countries' language and culture abroad.

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Source: Washington Post