(This article is translated from Chinese to English by google translate.)
Source: The Epoch Times by Wang Yi Xiao, Nov. 26, 2019
The Confucius Institute, which is nominally an institution that teaches language and spreads culture, is in fact a shady one. At the end of October, Belgian media disclosed that Song Xinning, the dean of the Confucius Institute, was banned from entering Belgium and the Schengen area for eight years on suspicion of spying. The matter has been widely reported by international media, and the suspicious role of the Confucius Institute has been hotly debated.
In fact, nearly 30 Confucius Institutes have been closed in the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Canada. Why are Western countries more and more vigilant about Confucius Institutes? What is the purpose of setting up the Confucius Institute? What impact has it had on Western society?
The investigation documentary “In The Name of Confucius”, which has been filmed for three years, discusses these issues and explores the truth with real mirrors. From the end of November to mid-December, the documentary will be screened in major German cities.
On November 27, the documentary “In the Name of Confucius” will be held in Berlin. The film director and German dignitaries will also be present in person. Later, the documentary will be screened in other German cities, organized by the German Tibet Initiative and the Association for the Support of Persecuted Ethnic Groups.
Confucius Institute is not an independent cultural institution
The Confucius Institute controlled by the Communist Party of China began in 2004. Currently, there are more than 500 universities around the world, which cost billions of dollars. They use the funds to bribe universities and middle schools in the United States and other countries in exchange for control of Chinese discourse and information. Political infiltration was conducted abroad, but it was increasingly resisted.
“In The Name of Confucius” is the first film to track this infiltration. The film has received 10 international awards and nominations, and has been screened in 14 countries in the five continents, including the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain, Poland, and South Africa.
One of the protagonists is Ms. Sonia Zhao, a Chinese language teacher. During her teaching at the Confucius Institute in Canada, she lived with fear and care every day. She finally chose to go out in 2013 to apply for asylum in Canada. Through this documentary, Sonia disclosed her personal experience at the Confucius Institute to the world, such as the CPC’s political propaganda, academic censorship, and human rights discrimination.
The director of the film, Doris Liu, is from mainland China. She is interested in Sino-Canadian relations, overseas Chinese, and education. In 2013, a Canadian Post reported that McMaster University had closed the Confucius Institute because of discrimination.
Upon further understanding, she discovered that the Confucius Institute involved not only human rights discrimination, but also allegations of violations of academic freedom and even endangering national security. Therefore, she directed the film “In The Name of Confucius”. Taking the Education Bureau of Toronto, Canada as an example, she explored what kind of project the Confucius Institute was. When it came overseas, there were no other hidden purposes besides Chinese teaching, and so What kind of influence does an educational institution have on Western society?
As everyone knows, in order to spread their own language and culture, other countries in the world also have cultural institutions established in various places, such as the British Council in the United Kingdom, the Goethe Institute in Germany, and the Alliance Francis in France. Why is the Confucius Institute alone being increasingly questioned and closed down in Western society?
Doris believes that this is because the Confucius Institute has never been an independent cultural institution. First of all, the Confucius Institute is funded by the Chinese side and is directly under the control of the Chinese Language Promotion Office under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The college takes orders from the Chinese government in terms of teacher employment, textbook selection, and classroom content.
In addition, the mode of operation of the Confucius Institute is cleverly attached to foreign universities or educational institutions. This is a very savvy approach, and its purpose is to expand the CCP’s influence from within. There are countless examples of Confucius Institutes or classrooms filtering certain content and topics, and self-censorship by foreign universities is also common.
Dean of Confucius Institute involved in spying
On October 29, the Belgian Morning Post reported that Song Xinning, the dean of the Confucius Institute at the Free University of Brussels (VUB), was banned from entering Belgium and Schengen for eight years on suspicion of spying. The matter has been widely reported by international media, and the suspicious role of the Confucius Institute has been hotly debated.
The Morning Post revealed that Song Xinning has lived in Belgium for more than ten years and is very active there. He recruited personnel for the CCP’s intelligence department and recruited informants among local Chinese students and business people. Belgian security authorities believe that the intervention and espionage undertaken by Song Xinning threatened national security. In July of this year, Song and his wife were rejected when they applied for a new work visa to Belgium in China.
The report also pointed out that the CCP provides 200,000 Euros to VUB University each year. The Morning Post asked: Is the Confucius Institute a Trojan on campus? According to VUB, the Belgian National Security Department issued a reminder about the cooperation between the university and the Confucius Institute, but it was ignored by the university.
Song Xinning was the first senior administrative officer of the Confucius Institute to be pointed out by a foreign government as involved in espionage. More importantly, this case is by no means an isolated case. Looking at the panorama from VUB-how big is the “academic” network spread by the CCP overseas?
This is an excerpt of The Epoch Times article. To read the original article (Chinese) please click here.