by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Alabama is poised to become the first state to take up legislation banning public colleges and universities from hosting Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government-sponsored campus centers that propagandize for Beijing and serve as outposts of Communist Party espionage. State representative Tommy Hanes recently unveiled a draft proposal to ban the centers, which immediately drew public support from Alabama congressman Mo Brooks.
The bill would prohibit public universities in Alabama from “providing support for, funding for, or use of its campus facilities” for “cultural institutes that are affiliated with, funded by, or supported by the government of China.” It would affect both of Alabama’s existing Confucius Institutes, at Alabama A&M and Troy University. (A third Confucius Institute, at Auburn University at Montgomery, closed quietly a few years ago.)
Hanes says he plans to pre-file the bill in January for the next legislative session and has promised “a strong effort to stop Communism in America.” Clint Reid, chairman of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, which supports the bill, says his group intends to “work on this issue until both Confucius Institutes in Alabama are shuttered.”
It’s a straightforward bill — two pages long — and should be a model for the other 49 states to follow. The Confucius Institutes funded by the Chinese government have no place on American college campuses. They teach the Chinese Communist Party’s warped version of Chinese history, whitewash the CCP regime’s abuses of human rights, and present a unilaterally positive view of modern-day China. Staffed by teachers selected, paid, and flown over by the CCP, they do this dirty business while trading on the reputations of American universities.
Hanes’s bill is noteworthy not just for being the first scheduled for introduction in a state legislature, but because it seeks to ban Confucius Institutes altogether, going a step further than two different bills currently before Congress. …