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Senate Passes Bill Targeting Confucius Institutes

March 8, 2021
 
 

The U.S. Senate approved a bill Thursday that would restrict colleges hosting Confucius Institutes from receiving all federal funding other than student financial aid unless the college ensures that the agreement establishing the institute has clear provisions protecting academic freedom and granting the college full managerial authority over the institute. The agreements also must prohibit the application of any foreign law on the college's campus.

The bill, which passed the Senate with unanimous consent, has not yet been taken up by the House of Representatives.

Many U.S. colleges have closed their Confucius Institutes, which are Chinese government-funded institutes focused on language and cultural education and programming, as they have come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers who see them as outposts for Chinese government propaganda. The University of Kentucky was the latest to announce a closure last week.

A 2018 law prohibited colleges hosting Confucius Institutes from receiving Department of Defense funding for Chinese language study.

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