An article on campusreform.org discusses the national security implications of the Confucius Institutes hosted by many U.S. colleges and universities. The Confucius Institutes are sponsored and funded by the Chinese government and are ostensibly aimed at teaching Chinese language and culture. However, the curriculum at the institutes is (of course) slanted toward pro-CCP positions, downplaying or outright forbidding teaching or discussion of topics that portray the CCP in a bad light, e.g. the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
According to the Campus Reform article, more than 15 of the Confucius Institutes have closed in the wake of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony (link to Inside Higher Ed article) to Congress earlier this year that the institutes are a national security threat.
We still confront traditional espionage threats … but economic espionage dominates our counterintelligence program today,” Wray said in his remarks. “More than ever, the adversaries’ targets are our nation’s assets, our information and ideas, our innovation, our research and development, our technology. And no country poses a broader, more severe intelligence collection threat than China.FBI Director Christopher Wray, quoted in Inside Higher Ed article April 29, 2019
While it is entirely understandable that universities want and need funding for teaching and research, the source of that funding must be considered. Money coming from China, especially from the Chinese government, will almost certainly come with strings attached. This is true no matter if the money is going to a foreign government for infrastructure/development projects or to an American college or university. Administrators should think twice about accepting any funding directed by the CCP.