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Tufts University Closes Campus Confucius Institute After Protests

Tufts University Closes Campus Confucius Institute After Protests

“Tufts did not [close its Confucius Institute] because they wanted to. In fact, they did everything they could to keep it as long as they could”

Take note of who was protesting about this. It’s the people who understand the threat.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Tufts Closes China-Backed Confucius Institute After Protests

Tufts University announced on Wednesday it will close its China-backed Confucius Institute after months of protests from students and local activists.

The university’s closure of its Confucius Institute came after months of protests from local Taiwanese, Uighur, Tibetan, and Hong Konger citizens who, along with several student groups, saw the Chinese organization as a threat to political and academic freedom on campus.

The Confucius Institute, which the Trump administration designated as a “foreign mission” of the Chinese Communist Party, runs a network of campus outposts that often coerce Chinese students into advancing Beijing’s interests and promote curricula that parrot China’s talking points on sensitive issues. In recent months, both senior diplomats and congressional Republicans have identified the China-funded institution as a national security threat.

Howard Fass, the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a nonprofit that advocates for Taiwanese independence, said months of relentless commitment from activists and students helped push China off campus.

“Tufts did not [close its Confucius Institute] because they wanted to. In fact, they did everything they could to keep it as long as they could,” Fass said. “They finally closed it because they saw that our collective resolve was unbending and that we would not give up with our peaceful protest for truth.”

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Comments

“we would not give up with our peaceful protest for truth.”

What, they didn’t even burn a single Autozone?
No wonder they get such amazing grades.

George_Kaplan | March 20, 2021 at 7:07 pm

Maybe if they tried mostly peaceful protesting they would have gotten a result faster? Or is the local DA pro-Beijing?

There needs to be more transparency beyond just closing the institute:
When was it founded at Tufts?
Who reviewed and controlled the content?
How much funding was received each year and from which sources?
How did the Institute’s chain-of-command fit into the University’s structure — was it directly to the Provost?
How closely was the relationship monitored by the Tuft Trustees?

The basic lesson here is that any sponsored or joint program should have a review cycle. For example, every five years, the program gets a de novo review. If it does not meet expectations for academic independence, intellectual rigor, and freedom of inquiry it is gone. This requirement implies that all tenured faculty have a joint appointment with another non-sponsored department.

I am serious about this being applied to every external funder: foreign governments, the NSF, NASA, DARPA or big tech firms. Academia must protect its reputation and mission without being “bought and paid for.”

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