South Asia and Beyond

‘Confucius Institutes Are Propaganda Centres’

 ‘Confucius Institutes Are Propaganda Centres’

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the controversial Confucius Institutes run by the Chinese Communist Party as “propaganda centres” while calling on Australia to exercise more caution when engaging with Beijing. Confucius Institutes have been touted as a Chinese cultural and language programme but the centres have been under increasing scrutiny for their potential as a trojan horse for the CCP’s soft power push. There are currently 12 Confucius Institutes across Australia. “Everything the Chinese government does is done with strategic intent, and these Confucius centres are essentially propaganda centres,” Abbott told Sky News earlier this week. The Confucius Institutes have reportedly interfered with free speech on Australian university campuses, with teachers being required to avoid topics like the Tiananmen Square massacre, Tibet, and Falun Gong in the classroom. If pressed by a student for an answer, teachers were required to state the party line. Opposition senator Sarah Henderson has called upon Foreign Minister Penny Wong to use legislative powers to close down Confucius Institutes in Australian universities.

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