China Daily Editorial
Some US senators are calling on the US administration to have all Confucius Institutes in the United States registered as “foreign agents”, as they portray them as threats to national security.
These are another of their efforts to peddle their “China threat” theory on the basis of telling lies. They are intent on engaging the two countries in an all-round confrontation, and severing the close ties that have been formed over more than 40 years.
Some US politicians have seen the Chinese educational and cultural exchange agencies as a thorn in their side for some time, and they have fabricated all kinds of charges against the institutes, such as they represent a spying risk and affect academic freedom through what they call the institutes’ political maneuvering. Some have even called for all the Confucius Institutes in the country to be closed.
Founded in 2004, the institutes, which are a fruit of educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation, now operate in more than 160 countries and regions.
All Confucius Institutes in the US have been opened following applications by the relevant US universities, and their teaching and cultural activities are open and transparent. It is at their US partners’ requests the institutes offer teachers and learning materials. It is absurd to regard them as “foreign agents”.
The pressure some US politicians are trying to exert on the institutes has even prompted some US universities to stand out to oppose their allegations, which are supported by no evidence.
Other countries also operate similar institutes around the world to promote language education and cultural exchanges. The duplicity of US politicians is self-evident as they only target the Confucius Institutes. But even if repeated countless times, lies are still lies.
Close people-to-people exchanges are the foundation of bilateral relations, which need people’s support and should also serve the people. The two peoples have demonstrated mutual assistance spirit in the face of the outbreak of the COVID-19, showing the deep social foundations for Sino-US ties.
The friendly exchanges of the two peoples are time honored, and represent a historical trend that cannot be swayed by the political maneuvering of the China-bashers.