Australian students taught Chinese language and culture by Beijing-vetted staff

Australian students taught Chinese language and culture by Beijing-vetted staff

Students in classrooms and universities across Australia are being taught Chinese language and culture by teaching assistants vetted by the Chinese Government, an ABC investigation has revealed.

The assistants teach Mandarin alongside Australian teachers as part of a Confucius Institute program overseen by Chinese Government agency Hanban, and are vetted by the Chinese Communist Party for “good political quality” and a love of “the motherland”.

According to the ABC, the application criteria was first issued by the Beijing-based Confucius Institute Headquarters in late 2016 and has been repeated in all recruitment notices since then.

Successful applicants that met this political loyalty condition have been sent to teach in the Confucius institutes and Confucius classrooms across the world since the beginning of 2017.

Confucius institutes are essentially cultural exchange programs and are formed through partnerships between a Chinese and a foreign university.

As part of the program, they usually establish subsidiary programs in schools known as Confucius classrooms.

The chair of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Council in Beijing, Sun Chunlan, is a vice-premier and was formerly responsible for the United Front Work Department, which leads the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign influence efforts abroad.

Below is the 2019 criteria for Confucius classroom teachers, as published by the ABC.

“Have good political and professional qualities, love the motherland, voluntarily work for the cause of Chinese language internationalisation, have the spirit of devotion, strong sense of organisational discipline and team spirit, good character, and no criminal record.”

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