The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues its policy of unrestricted warfare, meaning every institution is a tool to further the country’s interests, by rebranding its recently defunct Confucius Institute (CI) program on college campuses.
Academia is slowly waking up to the fact that every facet of Chinese institutions is part of the CCP. From its universities to its corporations, China’s intelligence services are involved in ensuring that national interests are kept paramount. And the CI program was no different.
In 2008, FBI Director Christopher Wray pointed out that many of our places of higher learning had been compromised by Chinese operatives as a result of having CI locations on campus. Subsequently, the program was shuttered. But the threat did not end there.
At least 86 colleges either accepted a rebranded version of the program or continued ties with the sister universities from previous CI relationships. What these colleges fail to realize is that China does not give up its goals, it only pivots to meet them. These actions are in alignment with their unrestricted warfare philosophy.
Unrestricted warfare allows China to pursue two different strategies to achieve global rule. The first is the traditional military path of gaining primacy in the South China Sea and then utilizing that strength to project power throughout the rest of the world. This is not outside the realm of possibilities, given the level to which the CCP has expanded its manufacturing base, as well as the leaps China has made in military technology.
The second path is the soft power path. Capture the elites in the United States, as well as other countries, and co-opting institutions. The CI program was an attempt to do just that, and the rebrand has not changed China’s intentions.
As China continues its expansion, these subversive tactics are guaranteed to increase. The last thing American universities need is another source of anti-Americanism sponsored by a foreign nation. It’s crucial that these propaganda networks are checked, as we do not know the full extent of their operations inside the U.S.