by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The United States’ ability to counter the rise of China is being undermined by anti-American attitudes in the education system, according to a new State Department report outlining a longterm strategy to compete with China.
The agency said Americans need to be educated about the strategic threat that Beijing poses to U.S. interests and called for government officials and the public to have access to English translations of Chinese Communist Party speeches. Such an effort, according to the State Department, could be undermined by high school and college systems that are hostile to America’s founding principles and history.
“America’s grade schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities have to a dismaying degree abandoned well-rounded presentations of America’s founding ideas and constitutional traditions in favor of propaganda aimed at vilifying the nation,” the paper reads. “In the face of these polarizing forces, the United States must reclaim its own legacy of liberty.”
Rachelle Peterson, a senior fellow at the National Association of Scholars, called the State Department’s assessment of American education “spot on.” Young people raised with a “biased, disfigured teaching of our own history” will be “receptive to Chinese propaganda,” according to Peterson.
“For years, students have been taught American history as an unbroken chain of violated promises, ignoring the groundbreaking work Americans have done to advance the cause of personal liberty and individual responsibility,” Peterson said. “Is it any wonder that students, convinced America is inherently bigoted, find Chinese propaganda persuasive?”
The department said Beijing will present an intractable problem for years to come and will not simply be an issue for the current administration.
“The China challenge, so understood, is likely to dominate American foreign policy across many administrations,” the paper reads.