Senate passes bill curbing China’s influence in U.S. colleges, targets Confucius Institute

"They are propaganda centers that threaten academic liberty and free speech without shame," Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy.

Updated: March 5, 2021 - 3:02pm

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The Senate on Friday unanimously passed a bill that limits the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in American universities through the Confucius Institute.

The institute is a Chinese government-funded educational institution that operates in American colleges. However, the group has come to widely be considered a propaganda effort.

"Confucius Institutes are under the control of the Chinese Communist Party in all but name," said bill sponsor Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy. "They are propaganda centers that threaten academic liberty and free speech without shame, and too many American schools are falling victim to the political con every day."

The measure, if signed into law, would control the institute’s activities in colleges. The schools would control funding to the group, what the group can or cannot research and who the group can hire. Right now, such functions are controlled by China and the group, giving universities no say in their practices on campuses across the U.S. 

Universities that don't comply with the act will be denied federal funding.

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