Last week the University of Delaware announced its plan to terminate its ten-year relationship with the Confucius Institute, a cultural promotion organization connected to the Chinese government.
The University of Delaware is following in the footsteps of 20 other American universities who are breaking ties with the Chinese organization.
According to a student newspaper report, the University of Delaware announced its plan last week to end its partnership with the Confucius Institute in 2020. This institute has been accused of paying off American colleges in order to promote a pro-Beijing bias on college campuses across the country.
Although there are concerns about the shutdown of the University of Delaware’s Confucius Institute, Associate Deputy Provost Ravi Ammigan believes that the Institute’s closure will not decrease resources for international students or students wanting to study abroad.
“I don’t believe the UDCI situation will decrease service to international students,” Ammigan stated. “OISS ranks 19th globally for international students. I think that’s very telling.”
Several elected officials such as Senator Josh Hawley have called for a federal investigation of the Confucius Institute. The Missouri Senator sent a letter to university leaders in Missouri arguing that the Chinese government is using the Confucius Institute to clamp down on speech on American campuses.
In his letter, Hawley stated the following:
But Confucius Institutes are more than a means of cultural exchange. As Li Changchun, a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party, stated in 2009, the Confucius Institutes are ‘an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.’ Hanban is governed by the leaders of twelve Chinese ministries, including those handling foreign affairs, state media, and propaganda. Partnering universities sign contracts that prohibit them from ‘tarnishing the reputation’ of Hanban, and Hanban sends teachers and textbooks from China that are designed to promote a positive image of the PRC and suppress any discussion of the ‘three Ts’: Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen Square. These Confucius Institutes are, in short, a tool for China to spread influence and exercise soft power in its rivalry with the United States.
China has come under increased scrutiny since drama between the NBA’s relationship with China has surfaced. Although China has made economic reforms that have slightly deviated from its totalitarian past, the country remains authoritarian and adversarial to American interests in many regards.
The presence of organizations like the Confucius Institute are ways that Beijing uses soft power to undermine the U.S. and advance pro-Chinese narratives abroad.
A Week After Getting Kicked Off YouTube, Stefan Molyneux Gets Booted from Twitter
On July 7, 2020, right wing social media philosopher Stefan Molyneux received a suspension from Twitter, a week following his ban from YouTube. This move comes at a time when many people are questioning Big Tech’s influence on political discussion on the Internet
The ban was implemented without even so much as a warning, according to a report by RT. Molyneux explained the situation during a livestream. “It’s nice to see that Twitter is talking to tech journalists before they would talk to me,” he commented. The right-wing pundit asserted that he was suspended from the platform following the promotion of a new essay that details his values and beliefs. “It’s not hard to understand why powerful people might not want you to read what I wrote below,” Molyneux wrote in a note detailing his suspension from Twitter.
Molyneux is of the opinion that the campaign to deplatform conservative influences has begun to “energize” conservatives. He believes that his ban shows “who has the power and who doesn’t have the power.”
Twitter disputed the idea that he was kicked off for ideological reasons. Twitter provided a statement to CNN in which it contended that Molyneux “was suspended for spam and platform manipulation, specifically operating fake accounts.”
But others condemned Twitter’s decision and warned of a growing assault on free speech, expecting “the purge” to “accelerate.”
Fellow commentators such as Mike Cernovich were critical of this decision. He took it a step further by predicting that the group of renowned public figures who recently signed on to an open letter calling out cancel culture would not bother to defend Molyneux.
Cernovich tweeted,”The Venn diagram of people who just signed that Against Cancel Culture letter and those who will mention Stefan Molyneux being banned will be two wholly non-intersecting circles.”
The Venn diagram of people who just signed that Against Cancel Culture letter and those who will mention Stefan Molyneux being banned will be two wholly non-intersecting circles.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 8, 2020
Molyneux is the host of Freedomain Radio and was permanently unpersoned from YouTube on June 29 after supposedly being in violation of the site’s “hate speech” policies.
Molyneux’s removal comes at a time when Big Tech is putting the clamps on all forms of right-wing dissent.
As the 2020 elections approach, this kind of censorship will likely increase against figures who actually stir the pot.
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