The Confucius Institute US Center (CIUS) says it promotes a network of institutes that provide programming focused Chinese language and culture. They are funded by the Chinese government. The State Department said there are around 500 Confucius classrooms, which are K-12, in the US, which “are affiliated with a university-based Confucius Institute.” The Department said they are tracking 75 Confucius Institutes in the US — 65 of which are actively operating on university campuses, the rest which are standalone.
Under the designation, the CIUS will be required to register with the State Department and provide information on its personnel and property in the US and obtain permission for future property acquisition. Acting Director of the Office of Foreign Missions Clifton Seagroves told reporters Thursday that CIUS would also be “required to regularly provide a set of reports concerning their funding, personnel and operations at the Confucius Institutes in classrooms around the United States, as well as provide us with information concerning their curriculum and training materials that they provide.”
CNN has reached out to CIUS for comment.
“Today, the Department of State designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC, recognizing CIUS for what it is: an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms,” Pompeo said in a statement. “Confucius Institutes are funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”
“The goal of these actions is simple: to ensure that American educators and school administrators can make informed choices about whether these CCP-backed programs should be allowed to continue, and if so, in what fashion. Universities around the country and around the world are examining the Confucius Institutes’ curriculum and the scope of Beijing’s influence in their education systems,” he said. “The United States wants to ensure that students on U.S. campuses have access to Chinese language and cultural offerings free from the manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies.”
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell told reporters Thursday that the designation was “not going after Confucian centers, per se,” but rather “the organization that actually manages, supports and funds Confucius centers in the US.”