The Confucius Institutes are basically China’s attempts to copy what the Saudis and Qataris did by setting up Islamic and Middle Eastern studies outlets on college campuses. The Confucius Institute setups were generally less effective because they didn’t click with a political agenda in the same way that the Islamists did after September 11. But as Trump goes after China, that may set up a 9/11 situation with Democrats and leftists rushing to ally with the enemy in a burst of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
And the Trump admin is moving to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Designation of the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a Foreign Mission of the PRC
MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE
The Trump Administration has made it a priority to seek fair and reciprocal treatment from the People’s Republic of China. For more than four decades, Beijing has enjoyed free and open access to U.S. society, while denying that same access to Americans and other foreigners in China. Furthermore, the PRC has taken advantage of America’s openness to undertake large scale and well-funded propaganda efforts and influence operations in this country.
Today, the Department of State designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC, recognizing CIUS for what it is: an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms. Confucius Institutes are funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.
This doesn’t kill them for good, but it does mean greater scrutiny and is part of a process of applying pressure.