• Melo Acuna

US says Confucius Institute is PRC's foreign mission; Manila-based prof says it promotes culture

Secretary Pompeo says Confucius Institute is PRC’s foreign mission; Filipino academician likens CI to Thomas Jefferson Center years ago

MANILA – U. S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said the Department of State has considered the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China as it advances Beijing’s global propaganda and malign on U. S. campuses and K-12 classrooms.

In a statement from the Foreign Press Center of the Department of State, it said Confucius Institutes are funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.

The same statement disclosed the Trump Administration has made it a priority to seek fair and reciprocal treatment from the People’s Republic of China.

“For more than four decades, Beijing has enjoyed free and pen access to U.S. society, while denying that same access to Americans and other foreigners in China. Furthermore, the PRC has taken advantage of America’s openness to undertake large scale and well-funded propaganda efforts and influence operations in this country,” the State Department said.

Secretary of State Pompeo said the goal of these actions is simple and that is to ensure that American educators and school administrators make informed choices whether these programs should be allowed to continue and if so, in what fashion.

“Universities around the country and around the world are examining the Confucius Institutes’ curriculum and the scope of Beijing’s influence in their education systems. The United States wants to ensure that students on U.S. campuses have access to Chinese language and cultural offerings free from the manipulation of the Chinese Community Party and its proxies,” the statement concluded.

In the Philippines, there are four Confucius Institutes and are located at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, Holy Angel University and Bulacan State University, both in densely-populated Region III, also known as Central Luzon.

As far as Professor Rommel Banlaoi is concerned, the United States under President Trump “has a political agenda against Communist regime in China where it considers a threat to the democratic world.”

Confucius Institute promotes culture, people, language, civilization, history, arts and society and does not promote China’s communist ideology. Most Confucius Institutes worldwide even avoid politics and ideology to stress its non-political objectives,” he said.

Most CI worldwide even avoid politics and ideology to stress its non-political objectives.

Prof. Banlaoi said over the years, CI has become an instrument of the Chinese government to enhance China’s soft power worldwide, which threatens US global interests.

He likened the Confucius Institute to what was once known as Thomas Jefferson Center of the United States of America.

Prof. Banlaoi, current president of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, said he learning Mandarin at the University of the Philippines-based Confucius Institute. (Melo M. Acuña)

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo while on a visit to Manila last March 1,2019 and Filipino Academician Professor Rommel Banlaoi. (Melo Acuna photo/Viber Profile photo)

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