The China-sponsored Confucius Institutes Have Been Accused Of Being Influencing Operations
Through Timur Fomenkoa political analyst
UK Security Secretary Tom Tugendhat, member of the newly formed cabinet Rishi Sunak, recently responded to a question from anti-China MP Iain Duncan Smith about the future of China’s Confucius Institutes (CI) in the UK. Smith, the biggest cheerleader of the anti-Chinese agenda in the UK, has a reputation for asking such opportunistic, incendiary questions in an attempt to generate headlines and put items on the agenda.
Tugendhat responded to the question, saying that the government “want to close“all institutions. The news was widely acclaimed online and the topic of conversation was raised again that the Confucius Institutes, whose official goal of the state is to provide education in the Chinese language, is in reality a ‘trojan horse’ project are for political influence and ‘propaganda’.
Confucius institutions have been subjected to a lengthy propaganda campaign originating in the US, and now a highly unpopular and brittle Rishi Sunak government considers them an easy kill to pacify the right-wing constituency and prove its credentials. Sunak may be the new prime minister, but he is just a legacy of two previous governments that were forced to resign in disgrace and disorder. He follows Labor by 30 points in most polls, pointing to a defeat for the Conservatives in the next general election.
Sunak’s stance as Britain’s first ethnic minority prime minister does not soften his outlook. Rather, it leaves him with something to prove. He is just one of a group of British Indians who, after reaching the highest political levels, have sought to buy legitimacy and support for themselves, not through preaching tolerance, equality and goodwill, but through hard-line right-wing nationalism. Just ask Priti Patel, or Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who described migrants as a “invasion” last week. They want to be more British than the British themselves.
And if we don’t bash migrants, what could be a more easy target than China? During his time as chancellor, Sunak seemed favorable to Beijing. However, since aiming to become the leader of the party, he has become increasingly sensitive to the idea of being “soft” on Beijing, and has tried to appeal to ultra-hawks with incendiary and aggressive rhetoric towards China, even at his first day as prime minister. With this he has called for the proposal to close all Confucius Institutes. It is seen as an easy target for his government because it is incredibly easy to demonize and spread paranoia, and few members of the public have an objective or informed understanding of what the Confucius Institutes actually do, not least the constituency. from the Conservative Party, which they will use the least.
Confucius Institutes Have Been Repeatedly Accused of Spreading “propaganda” and “stifling academic freedom.” These points of discussion are, of course, not serious, but stem from a campaign set up by the US, which has attempted to contain China by deliberately whipping up a McCarthyist climate to undermine commitment to the People’s Republic of China. The institutions have turned into a grotesque bogeyman, transforming something as innocent and benign as Chinese language education into a huge, disproportionate threat. There is no serious evidence that any of these institutions have actually pursued what they have been accused of, from ‘propaganda’ to ‘suppressing academic freedom’ to even ‘espionage’.
The campaign against CI, unsurprisingly, emerged in 2018-19, as did most of the anti-Chinese discussion points, including the propaganda against Huawei, Xinjiang, etc., and was pushed by US-sponsored think tanks and individuals. For example, a scholar from the German Marshall Fund told the BBC that the Confucius Institutes “Military Intelligence.” American politicians also began to drive them out of the US, including by cutting government funding for universities that house them, and then designating them as “foreign missions.” Above all, the campaign against CI has been a staple of American propaganda, smear tactics and alarmism, bringing great inconvenience to those who are simply trying to learn the Chinese language and culture.
In addition, Sunak demonstrates his determination to continue the foreign policy of his disgraced predecessors – that is, a policy based on ideology, nationalism and “post-truth” politics, which conflicts with the national interests of Great Britain. Britain. The proposal to close the Confucius Institutes over easy political points will hurt Britain’s educational and academic environment. This is expediency from a fractured, disfigured government that has mismanaged Britain in every way imaginable.
But finally, we have to see that this saga shows how the propaganda campaign against China is so intense that even something as positive as a language class can be portrayed in unfair, threatening and opportunistic ways. This speaks volumes not only about the US, but also about the circus that rules Britain.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.