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Dutch Professor Barred From “Damaging The Image Of China”- His Salary Partly Paid By Chinese Confucius Institute

March 19th, 2021 12:42

Dutch media has report­ed that a Pro­fes­sor of Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Gronin­gen has been barred from “dam­ag­ing the image of Chi­na”. Accord­ing to the NOS report, half of his salary is paid by the Gronin­gen Con­fu­cius Institute:

Feb­ru­ary 17,2021 A pro­fes­sor of Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Gronin­gen (RUG) has been con­trac­tu­al­ly pro­hib­it­ed from “dam­ag­ing the image of Chi­na.” The ordi­nary pro­fes­sor is employed by the RUG, but half of his salary is paid by an orga­ni­za­tion with ties to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, the Gronin­gen Con­fu­cius Insti­tute. This appears from an agree­ment between these two par­ties, which is in the hands of the NOS. Sev­er­al Dutch aca­d­e­mics react with sur­prise to the con­di­tions in the con­tract, which was signed in 2014 and tac­it­ly renewed for 5 years last year. Among stu­dents there is a grow­ing call for the RUG to break the ties. The con­tract states that the Chi­nese part­ner can uni­lat­er­al­ly ter­mi­nate the appoint­ment of the Gronin­gen pro­fes­sor if his teach­ing and research activ­i­ties “seri­ous­ly vio­late Chi­nese law or cause seri­ous dam­age to Chi­na’s image.” Whether and when that hap­pens will be deter­mined by the Han­ban. This is the Chi­nese umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion of all Con­fu­cius Insti­tutes world­wide. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL]

Read the rest here.

Con­fu­cian Insti­tutes are pub­lic edu­ca­tion­al part­ner­ships between col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in Chi­na and col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in oth­er coun­tries. In 2019, Inside High­er Ed described Con­fu­cian Insti­tutes as fol­lows:  

 The Con­fu­cius Insti­tutes have long been con­tro­ver­sial. The cen­ters vary some­what across dif­fer­ent cam­pus­es, but they typ­i­cal­ly offer some com­bi­na­tion of Man­darin lan­guage class­es, cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming and out­reach to K‑12 schools and the com­mu­ni­ty more broad­ly. They are staffed in part with vis­it­ing teach­ers from Chi­na and fund­ed by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, with match­ing resources pro­vid­ed by the host insti­tu­tion. The num­ber of U.S. uni­ver­si­ties host­ing the insti­tutes increased rapid­ly after the first was estab­lished at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land Col­lege Park in 2004, grow­ing to more than 90 at the peak.

Read the rest here.

In Novem­ber 2020, we report­ed that he orga­ni­za­tion respon­si­ble for devel­op­ing the US col­lege entrance exams was sev­er­ing its finan­cial ties with the Chi­nese Con­fu­cius Insti­tute Headquarters.

For more on the Con­fu­cius Insti­tutes, go here.