UK may close Chinese Confucius Institutes soon

China is also worried about the status of Confucius institutes after Rishi Sunak became the Prime Minister of the UK…reports Asian Lite News

The United Kingdom government may close the Chinese Confucius Institutes soon as the demand for the ban on the institution has intensified especially after a think tank released its report, revealing the hidden agenda of these organizations, Asian Lite International reported.

Recently, in October, the Henry Jackson Society Think tank released its report which revealed that 30 Confucius Institutes in the UK are “trading on the reputations” of British universities while promoting the ideology of the Chinese regime.

The report said, “There are no offshoots of the Chinese state that are integrated more closely into British society than Confucius Institutes.”

The report further said that the majority of the institutes were trying to shape China’s image in the UK and also attempted to forge links with British business and technology. It also highlighted concerns that the institutes are exercising an increasing interest in British politics and political lobbying.

China is extremely worried about its relationship with the UK after the report was released. Some experts believe this new report will motivate the UK government to formally abandon the “golden era” of relations with China, as proclaimed by David Cameron in 2015, according to Asian Lite International.

Sam Dunning and Anson Kwong, the report’s authors have requested the UK Government to amend its upcoming Free Speech Bill for higher education providers to include certain terms that could make the continuing existence of Confucius Institutes in the UK untenable. They said that “in general [Confucius Institutes] are subject to People’s Republic of China speech restrictions”.

In order to whitewash China’s image in front of the UK, the institutes exploited the name of the ancient philosopher Confucius. However, it said it was hopeful that ministers would soon realize the scope of China’s intentions for the institutes and that they are “not mere tools of soft power”.

China is also worried about the status of Confucius institutes after Rishi Sunak became the Prime Minister of the UK. During 5the campaign, Sunak promised that he will ban all 30 Confucius Institutes in the UK if he came to power.

The Department for Education, UK has already tightened its position on Confucius Institutes stating that the Government was “committed to doing more to adapt to China’s growing impact” and encouraged people with concerns about any Confucius Institute activities to report them.

Officially, Confucius Institutes promote the Chinese language and run classes in culture, from calligraphy and cooking to tai chi. They also sponsor educational exchanges and hold public events and lectures. These institutes are open to the general public, reported Asian Lite International.

Recently, the visit of UK Trade Policy Greg Hands to Taiwan has also strained their relationship with China. Upon Hands’ visit, China slammed him and said that Beijing firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the London and the Taiwan region.

During the regular media briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “China firmly rejects any official interaction with Taiwan by any country having diplomatic ties with China.”He also requested the UK to respect China’s sovereignty and said, “Stop any form of interaction with Taiwan and stop giving the lost signal to Taiwan’s independent separatist forces.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman also warned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan.

“We also make it clear to DPP authorities that any attempt to seek independence by soliciting external support is doomed to fail,” he said. (ANI)

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