10 months ago
It’s no secret, China has long been suspected of pushing its political agenda using educational initiatives as pretext. Not so long ago the FBI Director Christopher Wray voiced a dire warning about China.
At that, Mr. Wray alleged there’s a number of ways used by People’s Republic of China (PRC) to "replace the US as the foremost global power," which includes infiltrating the academic sphere.
How Many Confucius Institutes Are There in The World?
Confucius Institutes are based in large universities, meanwhile Confucius Classrooms are based in primary and high schools aiming to teach and promote Chinese language and culture. Looks pretty innocent, doesn’t it? However, things are getting serious in Australia, where state is reviewing the government-run educational programs in fear of aggressive political agenda induced by the PRC.
According to Financial Times, by 2017, there were over 500 Confucius Institutes established worldwide with 7 locations established during the past decade in Australia. The biggest number of Confucius Institutes established annually was between 2005-2010. However, Business Insider claims there’s over 1,500 institutions all over the world!
Are Confucius Institutes a Menace?
Here’s what you need to know about Confucius Institutes in Australia:
It is reported that the program's curriculum, employment policies, and funding are controlled by China's education ministry. The ministry has complete control and the power of approval/disapproval over the educational strategies and annual reports from each institute.
According to John Garnaut, a former adviser on China to Australia's Prime Minister, the activities of Confucius Institutes are "partly propaganda." The most menacing part is the link to the "United Front's Work Department system that can potentially be used [...] as a platform for influencing decision-making in universities." United Front is the PRC Communist Party's secret weapon trying to promote the party's policies overseas.
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