Marco Rubio Wants College Board to Reexamine Ties with the Confucius Institute

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined other U.S. Senate Republicans in sending a letter to the CEO of the College Board to reexamine its relationship with the Confucius Institute Headquarters which has ties to the Chinese regime.

Other signers include Republican U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Mike Lee of Utah and James Lankford of Oklahoma.

Rubio is co-chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations’ subcommittee that oversees human rights, and is a member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Mr. Coleman:

We write to bring your attention to concerns regarding College Board’s relationship with the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban).

On August 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of State designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS) as a foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), thereby recognizing Confucius programming as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda apparatus to influence schools in the U.S.

The designation of CIUS as a foreign mission followed Congress’s efforts to curtail the presence of Confucius programming in American schools. In 2019, a bipartisan Senate investigation found that the PRC prioritized the expansion of Confucius programming in K–12 schools.  Moreover, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (P.L.115-232) specifically prohibits the use of Department of Defense (DoD) funds for Chinese language instruction provided by a Confucius Institute on U.S. college campuses.

On August 31, 2020, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) issued a report identifying College Board as a target for the Chinese influence campaign. This report alleged that the College Board partnered with China to develop the Advanced Placement (AP) Chinese Language and Culture Exam. The report further alleged that College Board helped place Chinese nationals in U.S. schools through the Chinese Guest Teacher Program, a collaboration between College Board and Hanban. We are concerned that the PRC exploits its partnership with College Board to stifle conversation that might undermine the reputation of the CCP.

As College Board’s relationship with Hanban creates security concerns, please provide a written response to the below inquiries by November 13, 2020;

        1. What is Hanban’s role in the Chinese Guest Teacher Program?
        2. What is the Chinese government’s involvement in the AP Chinese Language and Culture test? Does the Chinese government have to approve of the test?
        3. How much money did the College Board receive from the Hanban or from the Chinese government more broadly?
        4. What oversight practices does College Board implement to mitigate the risks of undue foreign influence associated with Hanban?
        5. How does College Board screen funding from foreign sources?
        6. What contracts, memoranda of understanding, or other agreements did the College Board sign with the Hanban or other Chinese government-backed entities?
        7. Did the College Board receive or use any federal funding in the creation or promotion of Hanban-affiliated programs?

Thank you for your immediate attention. We look forward to your reply.


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