Confucius Institutes on Campus: A New Threat to Academic Freedom
Intellectual freedom is under many assaults today, often from within academia itself. Think of Berkeley, Middlebury, or Claremont McKenna, where protesting students closed down public events featuring controversial speakers. But higher education also suffers from an external threat—a threat that, oddly enough, American higher education has warmly welcomed. Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes jeopardize the academic freedom of American professors and threaten the autonomy of our colleges and universities.
The National Association of Scholars has just completed a study of these threats. Our new report, Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education, focuses on case studies of the twelve Confucius Institutes in New York and New Jersey.1
The Chinese director of the New Jersey City University Confucius Institute told me that “we don’t touch” anything related to the status of Taiwan or of Falun Gong, a meditative sect outlawed in China (98)....