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.
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Will Italy Exit the EU Because of its Lackluster Response to the Wuhan Flu?
Affar Italiani reports that leader of the Italian political party League and former Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini recently announced a possible withdrawal of Italy from the European Union due to its sluggish response to the Wuhan Virus.
“This is crazy. Europe needs another fifteen days to decide what to do, whether to help, whom and how. In the midst of an emergency when people die, now from pneumonia, tomorrow, possibly from poverty,” the politician stated
Salvini cited Italy’s confrontation with the EU over aid to fight against the Wuhan virus and the refusal of Germany and other Northern European countries to help Italy as reasons for the southern European country leaving the EU and the eurozone.
“This is a den of snakes and jackals. First we defeat the virus, then remember Europe. And, if necessary, we say goodbye. Without even thanking,” the former Minister of Internal Affairs asserted.
The EU used to serve a purpose as a common market for European members states and a cohesive political unit the prevented fratricidal wars between European states.
It could also serve as a civilizational defense bloc against the potential hordes of African and Islamic migrants that will continue coming into the region thanks to its lax border policies and the demographic realities in these regions — booming populations which many of these Third World countries cannot accommodate.
Salvini has every reason to be concerned.
If the EU cannot fulfill the most basic of government functions — protecting its members — Italy should leave and craft its own strategic regional bloc with countries that are serious about protecting their national sovereignty.
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