Sunak Starts Witch-Hunting
The new Government in Britain is all set to impose a ban on the presence of Confucius Institutes (CIs) in British universities. CIs were set up in various countries (starting in 2004) to offer Culture and Language Courses to international students, just as the Alliance Française of France, Goethe Institute of Germany and the British Council of the UK. In 2004, Chinese President Xi Jinping entrusted his country’s Education Department to launch the Confucius Revolution, aiming to open 1,000 institutes by 2020. Today, there are 525 CIs in 146 countries.
The Telegraph daily has reported that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made a final decision regarding the closure of CIs in order to fulfil one of his campaign promises made last summer to win the leadership race of the Conservative Party. According to an article published in outlookindia.com, PM Sunak promised that he “would close all 30 of China’s Confucius Institutes in the UK”, because “China and the CCP (Communist Party of China) represent the greatest threat to the UK and the security and prosperity of the world in this century…” (https://www.outlookindia.com/international/what-are-chinese-confucius-institutes-and-why-rishi-sunak-wants-to-ban-them-in-uk-news-212085)
Sunak also accused China of stealing British technology and of infiltrating universities, while “propping up Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fascist invasion of Ukraine”, bullying Taiwan and contravening Human Rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as suppressing the British currency to continually rig the Global Economy in their favour. Furthermore, Sunak pledged to review all research partnerships between the UK and China, saying that Beijing might use those research works for its own technological development or convert them into military applications. The attack on the CIs is part of Sunak’s Ready4Rishi campaign in an attempt to form a broad alliance between nations, like the US and India. “I will build a new international alliance of free nations to tackle Chinese cyber-threats and share best practice in technology security,” he said.
Fuelling Sunak’s campaign, two freelance journalists, fronting as experts of the Asian Studies Centre of the notorious London-based neocon Henry Jackson Society, released their new report, titled ‘An Investigation of China’s Confucius Institutes in the UK’, on October 12 (2022). (https://henryjacksonsociety.org/publications/an-investigation-of-chinas-confucius-institutes-in-the-uk/)
A report of such a nature targeting a Western power would be rightly called outspokenly conspiratorial. Teaching Chinese Mandarin language, according to the report, doesn’t help Britons to understand China at all, since it is, of course, implicitly an endorsement of China’s racism against minorities and its colonial occupation of Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, etc. In 2020, the State Department called the CIs mere tools of “Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus”.
On the ground, the US-financed NGO Freedom House and the NED, the shock troops of the Falun Gong, whipped up by their own press outlets, such as The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty TV channel, are increasingly staging demonstrations, demanding the closure of CIs. They have also sent letters to elected officials, asking them to end all funding. Norway and Sweden have already banned the CIs, and the president of the CI was expelled in Belgium. In the US (after years of Trump’s China-bashing), more than half of the country’s 110 institutes have closed. The move was accelerated by a decision of the US Senate to limit public funding to all universities that host one.
In France, where 17 CIs operate with success, a handful of followers of the Falun Gong, backed by two experts on China, demonstrated in Paris on October 21, calling to closure the CIs. Historically, the Falun Gong has been supported by the Green Party in France. Among the demonstrators, the French Green Party Senator André Gattolin (who rallied President Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron) declared: “When I meet the President of the Republic, I tell him freely what I think of the leniency we have towards a state that is totalitarian.” Gattolin is also the Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces, and Vice President of the European Affairs Committee.
Boundless Ocean of Politics has received this article from Christopher Lewis of Schiller Institute, Frankfurt, Germany.
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