The University of Arizona (UA) provided funding to China’s communist party, according to records obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Records show that the public university had paid $100,000 to initially bring the Beijing-run Confucius Institute to campus in 2007. The University has since paid the group $1.9 million to keep it alive.
The Confucius Institute is owned and operated by China’s Ministry of Education. Chinese instructors paid by American universities “teach humanities classes in Chinese language and culture to improve cultural competency and to build bridges between American and Chinese society,” according to the group’s website.
Those teachers are required by the Chinese government to sign a contract agreeing to uphold the country’s “national interests,” according to an earlier Newsweek report.
The contract with the Arizona Board of Regents shows the University agreed to hiring those teachers and ‘providing the Confucius Institute with exclusive rights to intellectual concepts, trademarks and inventions.’ However, the contract wasn’t renewed at the end of this year.
The U.S. government has warned of the dangers of working with the group.
During a 2018 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, FBI Director Chris Wray told congress that his agency had “concerns about the Confucius Institutes.” For years, the Department of Defense funded the group’s language program. This stopped after congress passed a spending bill to end Pentagon support.