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NEWSLETTER: CFHK report on Confucius Institutes prompts policy change by UK Prime Minister

Updated: Jan 9

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Committee News

On Wednesday 12th of October, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation and the Henry Jackson Society launched a report which investigated Confucius Institutes around the UK, including those at the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Edinburgh. The report found that while over £33 million in funding from China to British universities, many of the universities did not offer full or even partial disclosure of funding, meaning the actual amount is more likely to be around £43-46 million. Following the report, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss ordered a policy change towards China to recognise the pervasive influence of Confucius Institutes in British Universities, as was reported in The Telegraph. The report calls on the UK government to reverse the damage caused by Confucius Institutes and includes key recommendations including the UK Government must set aside a £5 million fund for critical China studies (Sinology) and for legislation should be introduced to remove Confucius Institutes from British universities.

Mark Clifford, President of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, Olivia Enos, Washington Director, and Frances Hui, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, spent this week in Washington DC meeting with people in congress, think tanks, and NGOs discussing sanctions and legislation in regard to freedom in Hong Kong. The Washington team had great conversations with allies and received much helpful feedback as they shared the Committee's strategies and future plans.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Watch has published a policy paper which examines the basis for and status of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) around the world. The research outlined in the paper highlights that multiple HKETOs around the world, including in London, Brussels and New York have similar privileges and immunities to diplomatic embassies and consulates, when then the host country has a People’s Republic of China (PRC) embassy and consulate. In the report, Hong Kong Watch recommends that all countries review the status, privileges, and immunities of HKETOs in each country, and international lawmakers should propose that maintaining the status of HKETOs depends on Beijing not exercising more control over Hong Kong SAR.