The government is set to ban Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes from British universities, Home Office minister Tom Tugendhat has said.
Tugendhat told MPs today that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak intends to fulfill his leadership campaign pledge to ban the institutes, which are educational organisations that allegedly suppress criticism of the Chinese Communist Party.
Sunak said during the summer Tory leadership campaign that China was the “largest threat to Britain and the world’s security” as he took a more hawkish stance on foreign affairs.
Tugendhat, a renowned China hawk, said the institutes “pose a threat to civil liberties in many universities in the United Kingdom”.
There are 30 Confucius Institutes in the UK and they were set up with the stated goal of teaching Mandarin and Chinese culture classes to international students.
However, the institutes have been accused of clamping down on criticism of China in foreign universities and of acting as political lobbyists.