As part of the celebration of the 40 year anniversary of Reform and Opening Up, Xinhua published a series of significant achievements on its website. On November 26, it dedicated one page to the growth of Confucius Institutes. Affiliated with the Ministry of Education, Confucius Institutes were initially formed in Seoul in 2004. They were promoted as a cultural bridge to enable the world to understand China, to promote the Chinese language and teach internationally, and to facilitate cultural exchanges. Below are the statistics listed on Xinhua’s web page.
1. By 2018, there were 525 Confucius Institutes in 138 countries including 118 locations in 33 countries in Asia, 54 locations in 39 countries in Africa, 173 locations in 41 countries in Europe, and 19 locations in 4 countries in the Pacific region.
2. By the end of December 31, 2017, they had 46,200 teachers, 1.7 million classroom students, and 620,100 online students.
3. They had assigned 3,574 Chinese Language teachers to 146 countries and 6,306 volunteers to 127 countries.
4. They have set up 1,100 Chinese Language testing sites in 130 countries and 6.5 million students have taken different levels of tests.
According to the South China Morning Post, Senator Marco Rubio has been among the U.S. lawmakers warning that China has used the Confucius Institutes in an effort to expand its political influence abroad and to function as the political arm of the Chinese government. A number of universities in the U.S. have since closed the Confucius Institute Centers on their campuses.
1. Xinhua, November 26, 2018
2. South China Morning Post, August 15, 2018