彭博社报 导，当中国教育部下属机构向斯坦福大学提供400万美元开办孔子学院时，它有一个附加条件：教授不允许讨论敏感问题如西藏。斯坦福大学引用学术自 由回绝，而中国官员则撤回了计划。中国正扩大在美国校园的存在，目的是宣传中国的文化和历史，满足学习汉语的高涨需求。根据教育部国家汉办的统计，自2004年到2011年8月底，它投 入至少5亿美元建立了353所孔子学院，其中美国有75所，数量居所有国家之首。中国资助的孔子学院在美国精英大学的扩张引起了教师们的担忧。美国亚洲研 究协会决定不会寻求和接受汉办的资助。日本国际交流基金会、德国的歌德学院、法国法语联盟和韩国国际交流财团等机构也采取相同的模式宣传其文化和语言，但 中国汉办的特别之处是它试图在每一所美国大学建立一个物理存在。
When a Beijing organization withclose ties to China’s government offered Stanford University $4million to host a Confucius Institute on Chinese language andculture and endow a professorship, it attached one caveat: Theprofessor couldn’t discuss delicate issues like Tibet.
“They said they didn’t want to be embarrassed,” saidRichard Saller, dean of Stanford’s school of humanities andsciences. Stanford refused, citing academic freedom, and Chineseofficials backed down, Saller said. The university plans to usethe money for a professorship in classical Chinese poetry, farremoved from the Tibet dispute.
China is expanding its presence on U.S. campuses, seekingto promote its culture and history and meet a growing globaldemand to learn its language. Hanban, a government-affiliatedgroup under the Chinese education ministry, has spent at least$500 million since 2004 establishing 350 Confucius Institutesworldwide and about 75 in the U.S., four times the number in anyother country, according to its annual reports and website.
Once confined to teaching Mandarin and traditional artssuch as calligraphy at state university campuses, China-fundedConfucius Institutes are making inroads into elite highereducation by contributing millions of dollars for research,sparking faculty concerns about muting criticism of China’sgovernment. The Association for Asian Studies, a leading groupof China scholars with 8,000 members worldwide, decided in Marchit wouldn’t seek or accept Hanban support, due to the lack of afirewall separating China’s government from funding decisions.
No Tibet Talk
“By peddling a product we want, namely Chinese languagestudy, the Confucius Institutes bring the Chinese governmentinto the American academy in powerful ways,” said JonathanLipman, a professor of Chinese history at Mount Holyoke Collegein South Hadley, Massachusetts. He also sits on the China andInner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.
“The general pattern is very clear,” Lipman said. “Theycan say, ‘We’ll give you this money, you’ll have a Chineseprogram, and nobody will talk about Tibet.’ In this economy,turning them down has real costs.”
China is following the example of countries such as France,Germany and Great Britain, which also have organizationspopularizing their languages and cultures abroad. Gifts to U.S.universities from countries such as Taiwan, South Korea andTurkey have prompted similar debates about the effect onacademic freedom. During the Cold War, the U.S. government begansponsoring libraries, lectures and cultural exhibits in foreigncountries as well as programs such as the Peace Corps to projecta positive image and counter anti-American sentiment.
The proliferation of Confucius Institutes illustrates thegrowing impact of -- and appetite for -- China’s wealth atAmerican universities. Almost 40,000 Chinese undergraduates,most of them paying full tuition, attended U.S. colleges in2009-2010, four times as many as in 2005-2006. Duke Universityand New York University are planning branch campuses in China,subsidized by authorities there. China’s banning of 13 Americanprofessors who wrote a 2004 book about Xinjiang province, hometo a Muslim group seeking self-rule, met little pushback fromU.S. universities with growing financial ties to China,Bloomberg News reported Aug. 11.
Stanford University, University of Chicago and ColumbiaUniversity are among about 20 U.S. colleges that openedConfucius Institutes in 2009 and 2010, and the University ofPennsylvania is reconsidering an earlier rejection. At HarvardUniversity, “maybe there was discussion as a broad possibilitybut nothing serious,” said William Kirby, director of Harvard’sFairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
Public universities such as Texas A&M in College Station,and University of Utah in Salt Lake City, received $100,000apiece from Hanban to start institutes, according to contractsobtained by Bloomberg News under public-records requests. Hanbansupplies books, audiovisual and multimedia materials, salariesand airfare for instructors, and continuing funding. It alsofunds Confucius Classrooms at U.S. elementary and secondaryschools.
The Confucius Institutes reflect President Hu Jintao’sstrategy to “enhance culture as part of the soft power of ourcountry,” as he described it in a 2007 speech to the nationalcongress of China’s Communist Party. Soft power, or gaininginfluence through persuasion rather than force, is a “factor ofgrowing significance in the competition in overall nationalstrength,” Hu said. In January, he visited a ConfuciusInstitute in Chicago.
“At what point does soft power become a harder power,where something concrete is asked for?” said Matthew Sommer, anassociate professor of Chinese history at Stanford.
China Daily, the state-owned English-language newspaper,touted Confucius Institutes in a two-page advertisement in theOct. 30 New York Times for going “all out in meeting thedemands of foreign learners and contributing to the developmentof multiculturalism.” While “some foreign critics havefretted” about interference with academic freedom, theinstitute “focuses its programming on culture and communicationand avoids ideological content,” the Daily said.
Confucius Institute funding is “unconditional,” saidJunbo Chen, Vancouver-based North America representative forHanban. Formally named the Office of Chinese Language CouncilInternational, Hanban is composed of members of 12 stateministries and commissions, according to its website.
Following the Law
Supporting research at elite universities is an outgrowthof Hanban’s mission of language education, Chen said. “Manypeople just think language is how to speak, they don’t have theidea how to explore the language itself,” he said.
Confucius Institutes have “the obligation to accept bothsupervision from and assessments made” by Hanban, according totheir bylaws. Hanban, which supplies Chinese teachers toConfucius Institutes worldwide, requires them to have “norecord of participation in Falun Gong and other illegalorganizations,” according to its website.
Members of Falun Gong, a Buddhist sect banned in China, areexcluded because Confucius Institutes must follow Chinese aswell as U.S. law, Chen said.
Confucius Institutes are adjusting to the values ofAmerican academia and becoming less heavy-handed in theirdemands, said Michael Nylan, professor of Chinese history at theUniversity of California at Berkeley. They’ve learned from“early missteps,” such as insisting that universities adopt apolicy that Taiwan is part of China, she said.
Dalai Lama Disinvited
When Nylan took an informal survey this year of faculty andadministrators at 15 universities with Confucius Institutes, tworespondents reported that institutes had exerted pressure toblock guest speakers, she said. Both events went ahead anyway,said Nylan, who declined to identify the universities.
The Confucius Institute at North Carolina State Universitymade its feelings known after the Dalai Lama accepted aninvitation to speak in 2009 on the Raleigh campus. China’smilitary took over Tibet in 1959, exiling the spiritual leaderconsidered a traitor in China for advocating Tibetan self-rule.
Confucius Institute director Bailian Li told North CarolinaState provost Warwick Arden that a visit by the Lama coulddisrupt “some of the strong relationships we were developingwith China,” Arden said. Besides the institute, joint programsinclude student exchanges, summer research and facultycollaboration.
Lack of Prep Time
The college canceled the event. While the main reason was ashortage of “time and resources,” concern about a backlashfrom China also played a role, Arden said. “I don’t want to saywe didn’t think about whether there were implications,” hesaid. “Of course you do. China is a major trading partner forNorth Carolina.”
A Confucius Institute presents an “opportunity for subtlepressure and conflict,” he said.
The about-face had nothing to do with the university’srelationship with China, said Jim Woodward, then North CarolinaState’s interim chancellor. Brought in to defuse a political andfiscal crisis, Woodward didn’t have time to “appropriately puton an event for a man of that stature,” he said.
Li said his conversation with Arden occurred after theuniversity rescinded the invitation, and was about developing astrategy for the future. Li said he made the comments in hisrole as vice provost for international affairs, not institutedirector. Li is also a forestry professor.
The Dalai Lama spoke at Stanford in October 2010. He alsolectured last year at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, whichhas had a Confucius Institute since 2007. The institute didn’tprotest, said David Keitges, Miami director of internationaleducation.
“Their strategy, because it could have been a delicatesituation, was, ‘We’re going to be very silent about it,’”Keitges said. “The day after, we’ll act like it neverhappened.”
Confucius Institute directors said Hanban gives them broadlatitude. At the University of Oregon, the Confucius Institutesubmits an annual budget proposal to Hanban, much as othercenters on campus apply for U.S. Department of Educationfunding, said institute director Bryna Goodman, a professor ofmodern Chinese history. Hanban has approved almost all of theinstitute’s suggested projects, including a conference in Aprilon an “edgy topic,” China’s role in regulating the globalinformation economy, Goodman said.
“Hanban hasn’t raised any political objections, not atall,” she said.
‘No Chinese Fingerprints’
Chao Fen Sun, professor of East Asian Languages andCultures at Stanford, helped bring a Confucius Institute there.A Chinese education representative invited Sun around 2005 toapply for a grant to study Chinese language, spurring “severalyears of conversations” about a research-oriented institute, hesaid.
Under the December 2009 agreement, Hanban donated $1million for conferences and other programs, $1 million for twograduate fellowships, and $2 million for a Confucius InstituteProfessorship in Sinology. Stanford matched the gifts, whichfund an endowment for the institute, Saller said.
Stanford, near Palo Alto, California, chose to devote theprofessorship to classical poetry because it needed a scholar inthat field, said Saller, who is also director of the school’sConfucius Institute. There “are absolutely no Chinesefingerprints” on the search, now in its final stages, to fillthe chair, he said.
“It’s convenient for everyone concerned that the positionended up being something that isn’t controversial in anycontemporary political way,” Sommer said.
Hanban prizes the Stanford relationship too much tojeopardize it by interfering with academic freedom, Saller said.Hanban officials “are very interested in getting a foothold atStanford,” he said. “Many parties in China would love therecipe for creating Stanford and Silicon Valley.”
Stanford President John Hennessy “has not been involved inthat institute or any of the negotiations related to it,” saidLisa Lapin, a university spokeswoman. Hennessy declined to beinterviewed.
Hanban pays the way for U.S. college administrators toattend its annual conferences in China as well as culturalshowcases. More than 300 university presidents, and 2,000directors and teachers at Confucius Institutes, attended the2010 Shanghai World Expo at Hanban’s expense, according to itsannual report.
The trips accommodate the desire of higher-educationofficials to learn about modern China and motivate them tosupport the institutes, Hanban’s Chen said.
David Daniel, president of the University of Texas atDallas, and Dennis Kratz, dean of its school of arts andhumanities, visited the 2010 Expo courtesy of Hanban. Kratzspurred creation of a Confucius Institute at UT-Dallas in 2007.
Daniel often visits Asia to speak about his work as a civilengineer, and the inviting organization typically pays his way,said Susan Rogers, vice president for communications.
Hanban, which provides a minimum of $100,000 a year for theUT-Dallas institute, didn’t set conditions on programs, Kratzsaid. Institute offerings have ranged from Mandarin classes forAmerican families with adopted Chinese children to a symposiumon translating Chinese literature.
Asked if he would seek Hanban funding for a conference onTibet, Kratz said, “If I wanted to do a conference on somethinglike that, I have multiple places where I’d look for funding.”
Organizations such as the Japan Foundation, Germany’sGoethe Institute and France’s Alliance Francaise also promotetheir national cultures and languages. The Korea Foundation hasendowed two chairs in Korean Studies at Stanford, the secondwith a $2 million gift in 2005. Hanban is unique in mandating aphysical location at each campus, Nylan said.
Foreign gifts to U.S. universities have stirred waves overthe years. A Taiwanese foundation offered Berkeley $3 million in1996 for a center for Chinese studies -- provided that it wasnamed after Chiang Ching-kuo, who served as director of Taiwan’ssecret police before fostering free speech as president.Berkeley balked, and funding was suspended.
The University of California at Los Angeles in 1997declined a $1 million gift from the Turkish government for achair in Ottoman history after Armenian scholars complainedabout a requirement that the new professor “maintain close andcordial relations with academic circles in Turkey.”
The University of Maryland founded the first ConfuciusInstitute in the U.S. in November 2004, and other public schoolssoon followed. Each institute has a partner university in China,which typically provides the institute’s assistant director andteachers and is represented on its board. Stanford’s partner isPeking University, considered one of China’s best.
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has one of the mostlucrative deals among public universities for its ConfuciusInstitute specializing in performing arts. Hanban agreed to give$250,000 annually from 2009 to 2014, along with traditionalChinese musical instruments and artifacts, and funding for twostaff members to organize arts programs.
The institute sponsored an October 2010 lecture on Uyghurpopular music and minority nationalism in China, said directorJoseph Lam, a music professor. “We have autonomy,” he said.“We run the institute as a UM academic and artistic unit.”
When the University of Chicago created a ConfuciusInstitute in 2009-2010, more than 170 faculty members signed apetition objecting to it as an “academically and politicallyambiguous initiative” established without the faculty Senate’sconsent.
“I was a member of the Executive Committee of the Centerfor East Asian Studies and only found out about this instituteon the day it opened,” said Bruce Cumings, a professor ofmodern Korean history, who signed the petition.
The institute was merely a “tag-on” in the letter, whichfocused on other university plans, said institute director DaliYang, a political science professor. Still, “we do take thoseconcerns very seriously.”
Chicago’s institute supports research and teaching Mandarinand sponsors events such as an October talk by a senior civilservant in China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. WhileHanban broached the idea of funding a professorship, “we feltour current model would be more appropriate,” Yang said. Hedeclined to say how much Hanban pays for the institute.
Cornell University spurned an early overture from Hanban,said Ding Xiang Warner, an associate professor of Asian Studies.Similarly, Columbia vetoed a Hanban proposal around 2003 for aConfucius Institute to hold community Chinese classes. Theuniversity didn’t regard such outreach as vital to its mission,said Lening Liu, director of Columbia’s Chinese languageprogram.
Research at Columbia
Five years later, the Hanban proposed funding for researchand/or an endowed professorship, Liu said. Columbia rejected theprofessorship -- which would have required it to match the gift-- and agreed to the research component, Liu said. Hanban ispaying as much as $1 million over five years, Columbia spokesmanRobert Hornsby said.
Because faculty members complained that the name ConfuciusInstitute gives a false impression that Confucianism -- also akey element of Japanese and Korean culture -- is limited toChina, Columbia asked Hanban to change the title to “Instituteof Chinese Studies,” said Liu, who is also director of theinstitute at Columbia.
Hanban refused and Columbia’s Confucius Institute, thefirst in the Ivy League, began operating in 2010. It doesn’thave a website. Liu runs it out of his office, which he shareswith a colleague in the Chinese-language program.
“Hanban is not very happy with this,” Liu said. He metwith Hanban officials in Beijing this year to “make sure theyunderstand we are working on the space issue.”
Columbia’s institute has “total independence” to selectresearch projects, Liu said. It co-sponsored a conference inApril on photographer Robert Capa’s images of China and anotherin May on how to adapt Mandarin instruction for students indifferent countries, Liu said. It plans a workshop this year onthe legal system in the late Qing dynasty, which ended in 1912.
The institute could address more sensitive topics as longas they are not politicized, Liu said. In the event of a disputebetween Columbia and Hanban, their agreement gives theuniversity the final say, he said. “If the Hanban tries tointerfere, we won’t back off.”
‘Vaguest of Negotiations’
In 2007, Hanban proposed a Confucius Institute at theUniversity of Pennsylvania to teach Chinese to the communitythrough the Graduate School of Education. The proposal waswithdrawn in 2009 because some China scholars were upset thatHanban was bypassing them, said Frank Chance, associate directorof the Center for East Asian Studies. The opponents viewed theproposal as a pretext to bring Chinese students to the U.S. and“shoehorn” them into the university’s selective graduateprograms, he said.
Now, the university and Hanban are having preliminarydiscussions about a research-oriented Confucius Institute inpartnership with elite Tsinghua University in Beijing, Chancesaid. While some faculty members favor it, others are“adamantly opposed,” he said.
“There’s a kind of internal struggle going on that up tothis point has prevented anything getting beyond the vaguest ofnegotiations.”
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