“Their goal is to exploit America’s academic freedom to instill in the minds of future leaders a pro-China viewpoint. It’s smart. It’s a long-term, patient approach.” ~ Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
by Ken LaCorte of LaCorte News
Recent reports detail Beijing’s continuing efforts to increase its influence on American college campuses.
China is broadly funding — and exerting influence and control over — over student groups on campus, primarily with Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSAs) and the Confucius Institute.
The concern is that the groups — while branded as a way to support Chinese students studying in America and to explore Chinese arts and culture — are allegedly a propaganda arm with rising influence on campuses.
As Foreign Policy writes, in one instance “consular officials … requested that CSSAs across the United States post articles praising [President] Xi’s vision for the country and touting other party propaganda.” Furthermore, in the University of Minnesota CSSA elections, presidential candidates who were Communist Party members received preferential consideration.
Specifically, over 100 universities in the U.S. are now in direct partnership with the Chinese government through the Confucius Institute and other groups.
PLAYING THE LONG GAME?
While spreading Chinese culture in an academic setting would have intellectual benefits, it’s also important to be aware of more long-term subversive goals and larger efforts to engage in information warfare.
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My daughter and her husband teach English at an affiliated Zhengzhou University in the Henan Province in China. There is some type of relationship with an American University, Fort Hays State. There are two Chinese partner universities: Sias International University and Shenyang Normal University. I’m not sure exactly which one they are with.
I do think this should be of concern since it is well known that the Chinese are quite nationalistic. These collaborations are suspected of being the advancement of espionage.