NAS Applauds the Newly Drafted ATHENAI Act

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars commends the Athenai Institute for releasing model legislation aimed at uprooting Confucius Institutes from American higher education. The draft bill, called the Action to Halt the Expansion of Neo-Authoritarian Influence (ATHENAI) Act, is meant for use by state legislators. It would require colleges and universities to close their Confucius Institutes by January 1, 2021 on penalty of losing state education funding.

We are especially pleased that the bill calls for the outright closure of Confucius Institutes, rather than merely proposing to regulate them. There is no safe way to operate a Confucius Institute, and state legislators would be wise to ban them altogether.

We are also pleased that the bill addresses the very real possibility that colleges and universities, facing public scrutiny, will rename rather than close their Confucius Institutes. The Chinese government is in the midst of reorganizing and rebranding Confucius Institutes, a move clearly aimed at sidestepping legislation targeted at Confucius Institutes. We commend the ATHENAI Act for addressing this sleight of hand.

The Athenai Institute, a recently formed nonprofit aimed at curbing Chinese Communist Party influence on college campuses, gained widespread attention earlier this year for the release of its Washington Appeal calling for the closure of all Confucius Institutes. In a strong show of bipartisanship, the heads of both the College Democrats of America and the College Republicans National Committee signed.

NAS is pleased that at least one state legislator has already unveiled plans to introduce a bill calling for the closure of Confucius Institutes, and we expect more bills to be introduced across the United States. We encourage state legislators nationwide to take up the ATHENAI Act. It is time for Confucius Institutes to close.


Image: ZhengZhou, Public Domain

  • Share

Most Commented

October 31, 2023

1.

University of Washington Violated Non-Discrimination Policy, Internal Report Finds

A faculty hiring committee at the University of Washington “inappropriately considered candidates’ races when determining the order of offers,” provided “disparate op......

January 24, 2024

2.

After Claudine

The idea has caught on that the radical left overplayed its hand in DEI and is now vulnerable to those of us who seek major reforms. This is not, however, the first time that the a......

December 9, 2023

3.

The Presidents and Academic Freedom

What are the boundaries of “free speech?” They are pretty much the same as the boundaries of civilization. Savages need not apply....

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010

2.

Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

September 21, 2010

3.

Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....