Press Release (ePRNews.com) - SAN FRANCISCO - Jan 30, 2020 - Culture or propaganda? Clayton Daniel Mote Jr. was interviewed in a documentary series produced by People’s Daily Online West USA about the Confucius Institute. He believes the Confucius Institute is “a bridge reinforcing friendship” between China and the rest of the world.
Dr. Mote is the Honorary President of the National Academy of Engineering. In November 2004, he also founded the first Confucius Institute in North America at the University of Maryland, inaugurating the establishment of the Confucius Institute in the United States.
In the last several years, an increasing number of Confucius Institute locations in the United States have been closed. On Jan. 17, 2020, the University of Maryland President Wallace Loh wrote in a campus-wide email that it was no longer possible for the school’s Confucius Institute to continue to operate due to U.S. Government regulations. It is yet another school forced to close its Confucius Institute due to U.S. Government pressure. Confucius Institutes have faced growing criticism for censoring speech on U.S. campuses and for prohibiting politically sensitive topics in language classrooms. Critics say the programs allow China’s authoritarian government to manipulate American students on American campuses.
How should the Confucius Institute go forward? In the documentary, Dr. Mote suggests that the future of Confucius Institutes should depend more on people’s understanding of China and believes that visits are critical, able to change people’s perspectives completely, many of whom have a misunderstanding of what life in China looks like. Dr. Mote thinks that people are unable to gain such understanding unless they go in and engage with them. “Confucius was the first professor; everything he says has a deeper meaning than it says on the surface … His ideas are everlasting.”
Wei Deng Source :
People's Daily Online West USA