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|Society & You - Social Critic|
|Thursday, 31 May 2012 11:37|
The State Department announced a new U.S. visa policies that put the Confucius Institute in the center of attention of the blogosphere in China. The new directive [on], issued on May 17, 2012, requires that colleges based on U.S. universities to obtain accreditation in order to continue to accept foreign scholars and professors as teachers. The new regulations could result in the termination of visas for hundreds of teachers, with more than 60 universities in America are hosting Confucius Institutes. On the other hand, Chinese netizens would like Confucius returned home to teach the poor Chinese children.
The Confucius Institute is a cultural expansion program sponsored by the government that aims to globally promote China's soft power. It is affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China and administered by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, or Hanban [in]. The first overseas Confucius Institute was established in November 2004 and August 2011 there were more than 826 Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms worldwide.
Although the Chinese government is not happy [in] with the policy, most Chinese netizens are in the spirit of celebration. The caricature of Da Shi Xiong is the best expression of popular sentiment on the Internet, children begging in the image of Confucius to return home to teach.
Many ordinary computer users like @湘客游侠expressed approval [zh]:
The government has spent so much money to run the Confucius Institutes abroad and offered many opportunities for some people to put money in their pockets. Why not spend the money on Schools of Hope and developing our own primary education?
An anonymous message that gives netizens an explanation to the government's education policy has been circulating in major Chinese internet forums and social media platforms. Following is the text quoted in BlogChina [zh]:
Some people are upset because the U.S. government is driving the teachers of the Confucius Institute. However, let's look at the game of the Institute - Reds officials are using the Confucius Institutes for financing by the Chinese government. The descendants of these staff can be taught in institutes with a simple goal - to use taxpayer money to get your U.S. residency. Just pretend to maintain and promote Confucian ideals, but they have their own purposes. Reds officials are powerful enough to destroy 2,500 years after Confucius. I am grateful to the Americans to arrest the Confucius Institutes and save the money we win so hard.
The blogger Shenkun Cai gave more background on the resentment of the people to the Confucius Institute in ifeng blog [zh].
According to official reports, the construction of each Confucius Institute is about five million dollars. Confucius Classroom Each costs about $ 60 000. Xue Yong, who now lives in the U.S., estimated that it takes a few million dollars to implement a Confucius Institute. The Institute offers courses such as Culture China, Tai Chi, Chinese language examination. Sometimes, to sponsor foreign students to travel to China. Besides the construction of the building and classrooms of the Institute, there are operating costs. Hanban China [es] earmark at least 50 to 100 thousand dollars to fund start each institute. It has been estimated that at least has spent between 25 and 50 million dollars for this purpose. They also have to pay more than 4,000 full-time faculty and 3,000 volunteers working abroad. Each volunteer receives grant thousand dollars a month for a year. Our government spent 36 million dollars per year only in volunteers of the Institute. There are also different types of funding projects that have no clear record of the amount spent. How much money has been spent annually in the Chinese people Confucius Institute? We have no official figures. However, in 2001, its budget reached RMB 1.600 billion and the amount continues to increase every year.
After more than 20 years, Project Hope [en] only has raised five billion Chinese yuan. However, our government is pouring money into subsidizing foreign education, much more than what is assigned to Project Hope. How am I supposed to react contributors to this? More amazing still is that the scandal of 2010 [zh], the more expensive web site [in China], online Confucius Institute, was exposed to the public. The winning contractors demanded 32.5 million RMB (about forty million dollars) for operating costs of the website. Then, the media reported that the contractor was "Wuzhou Network, whose legal representative is Wang Yongli, who is also vice president of Hanban. This means that Hanban has hired the site itself, and through the process, there are 30 million Chinese yuan have gone into the pockets of someone. If the news of the bid has not been revealed through the website of the Ministry of Finance, no one had known of the operating costs of the Institute's website.
This post was subeditado in English by Jane Ellis [in].