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Replace Confucius Institutes With ‘Censorship-Free Alternatives,’ Lawmakers Urge

Republican lawmakers this week urged the Department of Education to look to Taiwan to provide “censorship-free alternatives” in teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture on American campuses, in place of Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-funded Confucius Institutes (CI). In a letter (pdf) to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) led a group of over 20 lawmakers in calling on the department to pay attention to concerns regarding the presence of CIs at American institutions of higher education (IHEs). Steel and Blackburn are leading the expansion of the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, which was established by the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in December 2020. The initiative seeks to develop more programs to teach the Mandarin language on American campuses. “We urge the Department of Education (DOE) to explore censorship-free alternatives to support the instruction of Mandarin language and Chinese culture, specifically those offered by …

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