Countering Chinese Soft Power: An Updated Toolkit for Concerned Citizens

Rachelle Peterson

The National Association of Scholars is pleased to release an updated toolkit for citizens concerned about the presence of Confucius Institutes in the United States. Join us today, Thursday, June 4, at 2PM Eastern for a webinar to learn more about Confucius Institutes and how the Chinese government seeks to influence American higher education.

When we first released our 2017 report on Confucius Institutes, Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education, we had no idea what attention it would attract. Since then, more than three dozen American colleges and universities have announced they are closing their Confucius Institutes; the federal government has conditioned Pentagon funding of language programs on the closing of Confucius Institutes; the FBI has warned about the dangers of Confucius Institutes; and the nation as a whole has awakened to the Chinese government’s efforts to steal American research and intellectual property and compromise American higher education.

Almost every day brings news of the growing international concern over Confucius Institutes. Recently seven Representatives, each a ranking member of House committee, suggested that universities with Confucius Institutes and other close ties to China should become ineligible for federal funding. In a demonstration of the issue’s bipartisan appeal, last week the College Republican National Committee and the College Democrats of America jointly called for the closure of all Confucius Institutes. Meanwhile, in Australia, an undergraduate student has just been expelled for criticizing his university’s Confucius Institute.

Our report found that Confucius Institutes are Chinese government-sponsored centers located at colleges and universities around the world. (There are currently more than 80 in the United States.) Confucius Institutes present a heavily edited version of the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule and educate a generation of American students to know little more of China than the regime’s official history.

A number of our policy recommendations have begun to be implemented, but much more is needed to protect higher education—in particular the closing of all Confucius Institutes.

In this toolkit, we provide resources for NAS members and concerned citizens to advocate for the closure of Confucius Institutes and the protection of higher education.

Join our webinar.

Join us this Thursday, June 4, from 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern. RSVP here.


Send a letter to the president of a college with a Confucius Institute.

Confucius Institutes undermine intellectual freedom, disseminate propaganda, and serve the purposes of a foreign government. NAS provides a template letter urging all colleges and universities to close their Confucius Institutes at once.

Download a List of Confucius Institutes in the United States

Download NAS's Template Letter to a College President


Send a letter to your members of Congress.

NAS has proposed a number of policy changes to address the rise of Confucius Institutes. Much remains to be done to address the threat of Confucius Institutes.

Find Your Members of Congress

Download NAS's Letter to a Member of Congress


Write an op-ed or a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Confucius Institutes subvert American higher education to the interests of a foreign authoritarian government. Imagine the outcry if the U.S. federal government demanded the authority to choose the curriculum and vet all teachers for courses in America. Yet that is exactly what American colleges and universities permit China to do for courses at Confucius Institutes.

Download NAS’s Media Packet of Talking Points and Information

Download NAS’s Full Report, Outsourced to China

If you write an op-ed or letter to the editor, please let us know! Write to Rachelle Peterson at [email protected].


Join the National Association of Scholars!

Stand with us as we fight for intellectual freedom and the integrity of higher education.

Join NAS today >

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