US State of Florida becomes free of Confucius Institutes

September 10, 2019 5:03 am0 commentsViews: 201

From left, Yongli Wang, Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón, professor Fangming Xu and Mme Yanping Gao, Chinese consul general, unveil the Confucius Institute plaque during the institute’s inauguration ceremony at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in 2010. (Photo courtesy: Miami Herald)

(TibetanReview.net, Sep09’19) – Miami Dade College in the US state of Florida has on Sep 5 terminated its contract with the Confucius Institute, effectively shuttering the last of four branches that the organisation, affiliated with the Chinese government, operated in the Sunshine State, reported scmp.com Sep 7. The Chinese government-implanted and funded programme in universities and schools in numerous countries has been accused of propagating a doctored version of Chinese history while censoring topic disapproved of by Beijing in the name of teaching Chinese language and culture.

The move was made “due to low and declining enrolment that does not justify the operational cost” of running the programme, the report quoted the school as saying in a statement Sep 6.

The report noted that lawmakers like US Senator Marco Rubio had come down on Confucius Institutes across the US and cut federal funding for the programmes, leading to more than a dozen closures over the last few months.

Following Rubio’s call last year on Florida colleges and universities to shut down their institutes, programmes closed at the University of South Florida, the University of North Florida and the University of West Florida, leaving Miami Dade College with the last institute standing, the report noted.

Courses will continue at the Confucius Institute until the end of the semester to “minimise disruption” on students and to allow Chinese students and instructors to make arrangements.

Sen. Marco Rubio. (Photo courtesy: Miami Herald)

China “gives the world a false sense of the system they’re trying to export” and uses cultural programmes to indoctrinate students, Rubio was quoted as saying.

The report noted that, billed as regional centres for studying Chinese culture and language, Confucius Institutes rapidly grew in popularity in recent years before the programmes began taking heat from lawmakers over links to communism and propaganda.

The institutes are run by a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education known as Hanban. They teach a version of Chinese culture and history that reflects the Chinese government propaganda while brushing over human rights issues, teaching that Taiwan and Tibet belong to mainland China, and there are no human rights problems in Xinjiang and Tibet.

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