Countering Confucius Institutes

A Toolkit for Concerned Citizens

Rachelle Peterson

The National Association of Scholars is pleased to release a toolkit for citizens concerned about the rise of Confucius Institutes in the United States. Join our Facebook Live video today, Wednesday, April 4 at 2 PM Eastern Time to learn more, or download the toolkit resources below.

Confucius Institutes are Chinese government-sponsored centers located at more than 100 American colleges and universities. NAS’s 2017 report, Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education, found that these Institutes gloss over 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. Confucius Institutes are also the subject of an FBI investigation.

The National Association of Scholars urges NAS members and concerned citizens to take action. Browse our toolkit below.

Join NAS’s Facebook Live Video.

Today, Wednesday, April 4 at 2:00 PM Eastern, NAS Policy Director Rachelle Peterson will be live on Facebook introducing the toolkit and explaining how NAS members can be involved. Watch her video and ask your questions live at NAS’s Facebook page. If you miss the live version, you can go back later and watch the recording.

Watch NAS’s Facebook Live Video >

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 urges 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 six policy changes to address the rise of Confucius Institutes. We are pleased that the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, introduced in March by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC), would enact two of our recommendations. Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) has also urged Confucius Institutes in Massachusetts to close. But no legislation has been passed, and 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 on 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].  

Share on social media.

NAS’s research and articles sum up the issue concisely and offer recommendations for reform.

Suggested tweets:

Suggested Facebook posts:

  • The Chinese government sponsors classes at more than 100 American colleges and universities. These Chinese government-funded “Confucius Institutes” teach a whitewashed version of Chinese history that omits Tiananmen Square and the Tibetan independence movement and ignores China’s religious persecution and human rights violations. Colleges and universities need to close their Confucius Institutes.
  • The FBI is investigating Confucius Institutes. A growing bipartisan coalition is considering legislation, and one bill, the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, has already been introduced. Congress should consider these common-sense reforms to enforce US law and require greater transparency.
  • The Chinese government is trying to buy itself a better image by sponsoring classes in the US. More than 100 American colleges and universities and 500 K-12 schools now accept money from the Chinese government, and in exchange let China choose the teachers and textbooks for classes on China. Confucius Institutes and Classrooms are Trojan horses. They support China’s overseas propaganda. For the sake of its own integrity and the safety of its students, every college, university, and school must close its Confucius Institute at once.
  • Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted Confucius Institutes that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world—including more than 100 in the United States. These Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan and Tibet as undisputed territories of China, and educate a generation of American students to know little more of China than the regime’s official history. This study from the National Association of Scholars explains how China infiltrates American colleges and universities, and what Congress needs to do about it.

Join the National Association of Scholars!

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

Join NAS today >

Image Credit: Public Domain

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