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Human Events
Human Events
5 Aug 2023
Morgan Zegers

NextImg:MORGAN ZEGERS: CCP injects $17 million in US K-12 schools through
cultural and language programs

Lawmakers are demanding action from the Department of Education after a report revealed that over 143 US schools received more than $17 million in funds from China through cultural and language programs.

The report by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) details how the Chinese Community Party (CCP) used various financial institutions to fund Confucius Institutes (CI) and similar programs in US classrooms.

According to a secondary report from Parents Defending Education, “Confucius Institutes, and its K-12 programming called Confucius Classrooms, are ‘centers that teach Chinese language and culture.’ Confucius programming creates a partnership between K-12 schools, universities or nonprofits, and a Chinese government entity.”

The initiative has, in total, reached 143 classrooms around the US, in 34 states as well as in Washington DC Parents Defending Education found that there are currently seven active contracts at a minimum between CIs and American public school classrooms, located in Texas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington.

The NAS reported that though the CCP appears to have closed several CI locations around the US, “Many once-defunct Confucius Institutes have since reappeared in other forms,” and found that “28 institutions have replaced (and 12 have sought to replace) their closed Confucius Institute with a similar program.” Additionally, “58 have maintained (and 5 may have maintained) close relationships with their former CI partner,” and “5 have (and 3 may have) transferred their Confucius Institute to a new host, thereby keeping the CI alive.”

The report details how, similar to the Belt and Road initiative, China is using Confucius Classrooms to spread the CCP’s culture and values throughout the world. “Chinese state media has touted the work done by Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms to further the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence. “

Additionally, the Parents Defending Education report found an alarming 20 Confucius Classrooms were found around US military bases, stating that the CCP “appear[s] to target” schools with that location.

The report continued be revealing that “the People’s Republic of China fostered relationships with American K-12 schools through grants, sister school partnerships, and other programming since at least 2009,” totaling $17,967,565.12 in funds over the course of several years.

Some grants given to public schools were to be used for staff members to “travel to China for educational purposes,” while other funds were distributed for supplies for Chinese courses, and for hiring native Chinese speakers for the classroom.

“The alarming evidence uncovered by our investigation should concern parents, educators, and policymakers alike. Families deserve to know who is influencing the American education system so that they can make informed choices about what their children are learning behind closed doors.”

-Parents Defending Education president Nicole Neily, Fox News

In 2020, the US State Department designated the Confucius Institute US Center (CIUS) in Washington, DC as a “foreign mission” of the People’s Republic of China. The Department however clearly said that “This action did not close CIUS, nor did it require U.S. colleges or universities to close individual Confucius Institutes.” Instead, the classification only aims to “increase transparency” and requires CIUS to provide information concerning the program’s operations to the State Department.

The State Department also noted that the CCP “takes advantage of the freedoms of the United States and other democracies to advance its own ideologically-driven narratives and manipulate world press coverage.” However, little has been done on the federal level to prevent the Chinese government from influencing the U.S. in a number of ways.

“We truly don’t understand the full extent of Communist China’s meddling in our education system . . . Not only is the CCP trying to promote their propaganda through education programs but are using Chinese shell companies to outright buy American private schools around the country.”

-Florida Representative Mike Waltz, Daily Mail

According to the Daily Mail, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Community Party Chairman, Representative Mike Gallagher, worked in recent weeks to close the CI program at Alfred University in New York after the university was granted $13.5 million tax dollars to research hypersonic weapons. “Gallagher took issue with national security concerns he had about millions in Pentagon funds faint to a CCP-linked university,” the outlet explained.

The University of Toledo, University of Utah, St. Cloud State University, and Wesleyan College have all been Department of Defense grant recipients as well while maintaining the CCP-linked CI program.

Furthermore, the Daily Mail reports that in 2019 the FBI discovered that “foreign state adversaries seek to illicitly or illegitimately acquire US academic research and information to advance their scientific, economic, and military development goals.

The Chinese government has also been tied to several land purchases across the US, including land surrounding military bases. As of 2021, China-controlled companies owned more than 380,000 acres of American agricultural land. Some governors have moved to prevent the CCP from purchasing land in their states, such as in Florida and Montana, with several others considering similar bans after weighing the threat to American farmers and food supply.

Lawmakers have urged the Department of Education to take action against the CCP’s initiatives in U.S. public schools, and are conducting threat assessments in an attempt to fully understand the harm that these programs can cause the American education system now and in the future.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.