Riveting… Everyone who cares about freedom of speech, international politics, or China should watch the film.
~ Rachelle Peterson, Director of Research Projects,
National Association of Scholars (NAS)
“In the Name of Confucius,” a riveting new documentary by Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Doris Liu, examines the Chinese government’s controversial practice of planting Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms at more than 1,100 universities and K-12 schools worldwide. Everyone who cares about freedom of speech, international politics, or China should watch the film. “In the Name of Confucius” premieres today in the United States, on April 26, at an event that also launches a new report on Confucius Institutes, “Outsourced to China,” which I wrote for the National Association of Scholars.
Confucius Institutes Are Centers of Chinese Soft Power
What China Says Versus What China Does
My report, “Outsourced to China,” examined 12 Confucius Institutes in the United States. Like Liu, we found teachers who were trained to avoid topics censored in China, and administrators wary of any transparency. One Chinese director of a Confucius Institute told us she would deflect questions about Tiananmen Square by showing a contemporary picture of the square and “pointing out the beautiful architecture.” Professors unaffiliated with the Confucius Institute reported pressures to support it, or censor themselves, to avoid jeopardizing the university’s funding stream.
Liu’s film opens with a quote from Confucius: “The noble man is aware of fairness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.” China has tried to remake Confucius a proto-Communist in its own image. What it has done in the name of Confucius is a tragedy.
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