The Trump administration is increasing scrutiny of a long-established Chinese-government funded program that is dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture in the US and other nations, reported the South China Morning Post.
The State Department plans to announce as soon as Thursday that Confucius Institutes in the US – many of which are based on college campuses – will need to register as “foreign missions”, according to sources familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.
The designation would amount to a conclusion that Confucius Institutes are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by a foreign government. That would subject them to administrative requirements similar to those for embassies and consulates.
The institutes have long been a target of China hawks, with lawmakers including Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, urging schools in his state to terminate their agreements with them. He called them “Chinese government-run programs that use the teaching of Chinese language and culture as a tool to expand the political influence” of the government.