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Belgian University Closes the Door to Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Institute

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Taiwan News reported that Belgian research university Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) announced on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 it will cease its partnership with the Chinese Communist Party-backed Confucius Institute next year after its contract expires in June 2020.

VUB has joined other European universities in breaking ties with the Confucius Institute. The Belgian university is following the actions of Leiden University, Stockholm University, University of Lyon, Stuttgart Media University, and University of Hohenheim, according to CNA.

CNA reports that the decision was made during a board meeting and it was done under the belief that collaboration was no longer in the school’s best interests. However, VUB emphasized that it would embrace future partnerships with universities and academics from China “as long as academic freedom and independence” are guaranteed, it declared in a statement.

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VUB President Caroline Pauwels stated there must be respect for research freedom but the Confucius Institute appeared to not have met this requirement. Although the university supports international cooperation, she noted that it would instead focus on investing in young talent rather than “political regimes.”

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The former dean of the VUB Confucius Institute had previously been denied the ability to enter Belgium because of espionage allegations. According to CNA, Beijing refuted these claims, describing them as ungrounded and with ulterior motives.

Confucius Institutes serve as global propaganda machines that serve Chinese interests. The Washington Post reported back in January at least 10 of these institutes have been closed at American universities after China has recently come under fire for its human rights records.

Despite the closure of this Confucius Institute in Belgium, there are still many of these institutes open on U.S. universities such as Stanford University, UCLA, and Columbia University. China’s authoritarianism of the past still lives on through its expansionist foreign policy that is very dependent on soft power.

For national security purposes and the sake of containing CCP influence in America, more American universities should shut their doors to the Confucius Institute.

Big League Guns

Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation

Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.

Under The Background Check Expansion Act,  gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House

“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.

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According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.

Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms. 

Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.

Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race. 

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