(TibetanReview.net, Feb07, 2018) – Republican Senator Marco Rubio is said to be pushing five educational institutions in his home state of Florida to end partnerships with Chinese government-funded programmes that give a distorted teaching of China’s history, language and culture. China runs the programmes, known as “Confucius Institutes”, at hundreds of educational institutions around the world to boost its soft power and image.
“There is mounting concern about the Chinese government’s increasingly aggressive attempts to use ‘Confucius Institutes’ and other means to influence foreign academic institutions and critical analysis of China’s past history and present policies,” politico.com Feb 5 quoted Rubio as saying in a letter.
The letter was stated to urge Miami-Dade College, the University of North Florida, the University of South Florida, the University of West Florida and Broward County’s Cypress Bay High School to end the programmes.
The letter was stated to cite comments in 2011 by Li Changchun, a former member of the Standing Committee of the highest body of the Chinese Communist Party, saying that the institutes had made “an important contribution toward improving our soft power”.
The report noted that there were more than 100 such institutes throughout the USA, with a quick rise in numbers in recent years.
Rubio’s letter was stated to have come weeks after the POLITICO Magazine reported on the growing influence of the institutes in American classrooms.
“Given China’s aggressive campaign to ‘infiltrate’ American classrooms, stifle free inquiry, and subvert free expression both at home and abroad, I respectfully urge you to consider terminating your Confucius Institute agreement,” Rubio was quoted as having written.