Senator Demands Answers On College Board’s Relationship With Chinese Organization

( The College Board needs to explain the partnership it has had with a Chinese “front group” for decades, Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn is demanding.

This group has allowed the Chinese government to exert its influence on thousands of students in America during the length of the partnership, Blackburn said.

The College Board is a non-profit organization that administers tests such as the Advancement Placement test and SAT test for high school students looking to enter college. The partnership in question is with the Confucius Institute, which also goes by Hanban. That group is backed by the Chinese government, and is a propaganda wing of the Communist Party in the country, U.S. officials say.

Because the partnership is so lucrative, Blackburn says it would result in the College Board getting unduly influenced by the Chinese organization.

In a letter she wrote that was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Blackburn wrote:

“It is my concern that the Chinese government is manipulating this [College Board] partnership to characterize China in a wholesome light and stifle conversation that might be detrimental to the reputation of the Chinese Communist Party. College Board’s relationship with Hanban creates momentous security concerns.”

The College Board received almost $700,000 from the Confucius Institute, according to a report issued by the National Association of Scholars in August. That money was directed to develop Chinese curriculum for the College Board’s AP program. This, then, shaped the education of the thousands of high school students in the U.S. who take this course every year.

Another concern is that the College Board has helped to place hundreds of Chinese teachers at schools throughout the country. Those teachers were vetted by the Confucius Institute.

Blackburn is demanding that David Coleman, the CEO of the College Board, to explain the role that the Confucius Institute plays in the selection of teachers as well as the criteria for tests it administers. She also wants to know if the relationship could potentially give the Chinese government “undue influence” over students in America.

This isn’t just a Republican-led charge, though. There has been a bipartisan push recently to “rein in the activities” of the Confucius Institute. When it was operating at its fullest in 2017, the organization had more than 100 branches across the country at both K-12 schools and colleges.

In 2018, Congress prohibited any American university from diverting funding they got from the Pentagon to support programming by the Confucius Institute. In June, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would require all universities that received federal funding to exercise “full managerial control” of any programs backed by China.

For its part, the Confucius Institute says it only operates to foster literacy in Mandarin as well as appreciation for the culture of China. But many reports say they are lying.

Some investigations have found that the Confucius Institute requires instructors to follow all Chinese laws even when they’re on American soil. It also prohibits the instructors to discuss any issues related to sensitive topics, as deemed by the Chinese government, such as Tibet or Xinjiang.