German media is reporting that after pressure from China, two German Confucius Institutes have canceled a book presentation of a critical biography of Chinese president Xi Jinping. According to a Börsenblatt report:
October 22, 2021 On October 27, the book “Xi Jinping — the most powerful man in the world” was to be presented at an event organized by the Leibniz Confucius Institute in Hanover and the Confucius Institute at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Piper Verlag announced that the appointment was canceled at short notice due to Chinese pressure. In Hanover, the Tongji University Shanghai, which runs the institute together with the Leibniz University. intervened, so the Piper Verlag. In Duisburg, the Consul General of China in Düsseldorf, Feng Haiyang, intervened personally to prevent the event. An employee of the Confucius Institute summarized the reasoning as follows: “You can no longer talk about Xi Jinping as a normal person, he should now be inviolable and unspeakable.” That is not the position of the German Confucius Institutes and their Chinese partners, rather they have received pressure from above in China.
[Translated with Google Translate]t
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The biography was written by two-well known figures in German journalism, including Adrian Geiges, the longtime China correspondent for Stern magazine,
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.
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