US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday he was hopeful that Chinese Confucius Institute cultural centres on US university campuses would all be shut down by the end of the year, reported the South China Morning Post.
“I think everyone’s coming to see the risk associated with them,” Pompeo told Lou Dobbs on the Fox Business Network, accusing the Chinese-government funded institutes of working to recruit “spies and collaborators” at US colleges. “I think these institutions can see that, and I’m hopeful we will get them all closed out before the end of this year.”
Last month, Pompeo labelled the centre that manages the Confucius Institutes in the United States “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence” and required it to register as a foreign mission.
David Stilwell, the top US diplomat for East Asia, said at the time that the dozens of Confucius Institutes on US campuses were not being kicked out, but US universities should take a “hard look” at what they were doing on campus.