søndag 4. juli 2021

Germany wants independent China experts as concerns about Confucius Institutes and Beijing’s influence over universities grows

Germany is building up its own knowledge base about China as it seeks to diminish Beijing’s influence over its universities. The education ministry announced on Tuesday that it was investing €24 million (US$28.4 million) in a programme running between 2017 and 2024 to strengthen “independent China competence” in its universities and research institutes. The aim of the project is to support science and research cooperation with China that is “based on European values”, according to a statement from the education ministry.

Anja Karliczek, the education minister, said the country still wanted to engage with China and needs more talents who understand Chinese culture, language, society and history. But she added such efforts must be conducted independently by Germany, and called on universities to cut off cooperation with the Confucius Institutes, a state-funded educational partnership that offers courses in Chinese language and culture.