Washington [US], June 28 (ANI): China's cultural promotion centre Confucius Institutes, which was accused of being a propaganda arm for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is being rebranded and reopened in the United States, a media report said.
As many as 104 out of the total 118 Confucius Institutes were closed last week in the US and four more are in the process of shutting down, the Voice of America (VOA) reported citing National Association of Scholars' report.
Of these, at least 28 have replaced their Confucius Institute with a similar program, and at least 58 have maintained close relationships with their former Confucius Institute partner, the VOA citing the report.
Perry Link, professor of Chinese language studies at the University of California Riverside, told VOA Mandarin that he was surprised first by how many Confucius Institutes have been shut down in the US.
"I didn't expect the rate of closures to be so high. Second, they still exist in another way with another name. I think this is expected. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon," he said.
Confucius Institutes are public educational partnerships between colleges and universities in China and colleges and universities in other countries.
The controversial Chinese government-funded institutions have previously been accused of being a propaganda arm for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In recent years, the closure of Confucius Institutes in various countries has progressed rapidly as these organizations are deemed as China's ideological marketing machine.
Earlier in February, nearly a dozen countries, including the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, tightened their grip on Confucius Institutes and other related activities over the dubious nature of the Chinese organizations.
A report on "China's Influence Actions" released by a military institute, under the French Defence Ministry, pointed out that the Chinese government has been promoting United Front tactics overseas and promoting its ideology through Confucius Institutes.
The United Front is a political strategy of the CCP involving networks of groups and key individuals that are influenced or controlled by the CCP and used to advance its interests.
In 2020, the Department of State designated the Confucius Institutes as a foreign mission of the People's republic of China due to the organisation's state-directed nature. It is mandatory for organisation's designed as foreign missions to submit reports about funding, personnel, curriculum and activities to the US government.
Since 2004, the Chinese government has sponsored Confucius Institutes on college and university campuses around the world, providing teachers, textbooks, and operating funds.
As of December 2019, it has established 550 Confucius Institutes and more than 1,000 Confucius Classrooms in primary and secondary schools in 162 countries or regions around the world. Until an agency of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Hanban, oversaw Confucius Institutes.
In the wake of widespread criticism, the Chinese government had reorganized Confucius Institutes under a new organization, the Chinese International Education Foundation. (ANI)