Confucius Institutes: A Trojan Horse Breaching National Security Globally

Confucius Institutes across Europe and North America are sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), US has taken Strong actions & UK Willing too.

Confucius Institutes have been alleged of far more serious offenses than will be used as a propaganda tool.

With approximately 530 Confucius Institutes globally, these establishments have been under intense investigation for suspicions of espionage, spying, and academic censorship, among other things, according to The HK Post.

Confucius Institutes: A Trojan Horse Breaching National Security Globally

These prominent institutes have been dubbed China's Trojan horse. They breach the nation's borders without many understanding the collateral damage in terms of national security subversion.

Around the world, these institutes are supervised by the office of the Chinese Language Council International, commonly understood as Hanban.

Key Highlights:

  • Confucius Institutes across Europe and North America are sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
  • The US has taken a strong stance against the funds received by these local partners from Chinese sources. 
  • Rishi Sunak, a probable candidate for Prime Minister of the UK, has promised to shut down all 30 Confuples Institutes in the country if elected.

In a nutshell, the Confucius Institute has three modes of operation, some of which are completely controlled by its Beijing headquarters.

According to The HK Post, many Confucius institutes across Europe and North America have been constructed through collaborative relationships with international universities that offer courses in Chinese language and culture.

Attractive foreign subsidies for establishing infrastructure, courses, and local Chinese instructors have led several prestigious universities to form cooperative ventures with Confucius Institutes.

However, it appears that these institutes are not only sponsored, but also counseled, administered, and guided by the Chinese Communist Party.


A severe spying charge leveled against the head professor of the Confucius Institute affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in 2019 resulted in the closure of the Confucius Institute in Belgium. Sweden and Denmark ended their local associations with Confucius institutions in 2020, while Norway ended its local association in 2021.

According to The HK Post, Sweden's Helsinki University recently opted to cancel its contract due to a string of espionage charges made against the Institute.

Among the severe concerns expressed by the university was academic suppression, which resulted in the avoidance of themes such as the cultural revolution, Taiwan talks, and CCP atrocities inside the Chinese country.


There are currently at least 190 institutes in the European Union, with the majority of them observed revising their partnerships.

Rishi Sunak, a Promising candidate for Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has promised to shut down all 30 Confucius Institutes in the country if elected.


According to The HK Post, such teetering words and actions by European countries demonstrate the risk that these countries see in maintaining academic ties with the Chinese government.

Furthermore, the US has taken a strong stance against the funds received by these local partners from Chinese sources. The number of CIs in the United States has decreased from more than a hundred some years ago to 18 as of 2022.

On August 13, 2020, Mike Pompeo, the then-Secretary of State, declared all Confucius Institutes as People's Republic of China diplomatic missions. The institutes, according to the press release, "were an institution furthering Beijing's global propaganda and malign influence effort on US campuses and K-12 classrooms."

The Senate unanimously passed a bill in March 2021 that would deny federal funds to universities and institutions that did not comply with new supervision standards and regulations.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 prohibits colleges that host Confucius Institutes from receiving funding from the US Department of Defense.

Recently, a Harvard chemistry professor was found guilty of lying about Chinese funds he obtained as part of his research. These are just a few examples of how China and its network of Confucius Institutes have spread their tentacles across the academic world via their ostensibly soft power technique.

The shroud of employing soft diplomacy to further its dark aims has surely not stood the test of time, since many of such institutes have been exposed for what they are, according to The HK Post.


It is now more vital than ever to proceed with prudence when it comes to such efforts, as widespread complaints against the Confucius Institutes have recently come to light.

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