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Subnational Infiltration – Ireland Professor Resigned to Protest University’s Pro-Russia and Beijing Stance

Ben Tonra, Professor and Vice Principal of the College of Social Sciences and Law at the University College in Dublin (UCD), resigned to protest the university’s taking a soft position towards Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its backing for the Confucius Institute from China.

“Based on the statements and response of the University’s leadership to the invasion of Ukraine and the role of the Confucius Institute on campus, it is clear to me that I do not share the values underpinnings of the UCD’s global engagement strategy,” he said on Twitter.

Professor Tonra was upset that UCD called Russia’s invasion “the situation in Ukraine.”

The UCD’s Confucius Institute was established in 2006. In 2021, a group of professors expressed strong opposition to a course on Chinese history and politics being delivered by the Confucius Institute which is one of the Chinese Communist Party’s invasive infiltration tools.

A spokesman for the university said the course was delivered by the Irish Institute for Chinese Studies (IICS), an academic center in the university, not by the Confucius Institute at UCD.

However, “a professor pointed out that [IICS and the UCD’s Confucius Institute] were established at the same time, are in the same building, have the same director, the same email address, the same phone number, overlapping senior staff, and share the same mission to promote teaching Chinese studies,”

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. Epoch Times, March 8, 2022
2. The Irish Times, August 7, 2021