Beijing has defended its Confucius Institute program after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated he hopes the Chinese language cultural facilities on American college campuses could be shut down by the tip of this 12 months.

The Confucius Institute operates within the US based mostly on voluntary functions from universities underneath the ideas of mutual respect and profit, the Chinese language International Ministry stated on Friday. They contribute to selling cultural exchanges and have been “broadly welcomed by US universities and the American individuals,” spokesperson Zhao Lijian famous.

He accused some US politicians, together with Pompeo particularly, of intentionally undermining cultural and academic exchanges “by discrediting Confucius Institutes and interfering with their regular operations” out of “ideological bias and political expediency.”

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These politicians “have to abandon the Chilly Struggle zero-sum mentality” and “cease interfering with regular people-to-people and cultural exchanges,” Zhao stated.

If the US refuses to take action, the Chinese language aspect reserves additional rights to react.

Talking on the Fox Enterprise Community in early September, Pompeo accused the Beijing-government funded institutes of working to recruit “spies and collaborators” at US faculties. “I’m hopeful we are going to get all of them closed out earlier than the tip of this 12 months,” he stated.

The state secretary earlier described the middle that manages the Confucius Institutes within the US as “an entity advancing Beijing’s international propaganda and malign affect,” requiring it to register as a international mission.

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Dozens of US universities host the institutes by means of partnerships with an affiliate of China’s Ministry of Training, although the determine has fallen since 2019. The US State Division and Training Division have warned universities and state training officers that this system provides China’s ruling Communist Occasion a “foothold on US soil.”

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