File photo: CFP
China firmly opposes the U.S.' actions on China's Confucius Institutes which demonized cooperation projects between the two sides, and reserves the right to respond further to the matter, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian during Friday's press conference.
Washington on Thursday designated the center that manages China's Confucius Institutes in the country as a "foreign mission," the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled the Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS Center) "an entity advancing Beijing's global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms."
China's Confucius Institutes in the U.S. are voluntary applications for universities, said Zhao, adding that the operation and management of the institutes are open, transparent, and abide by university standards.
"We urge the U.S. side to abandon the Cold War mentality and stop politicizing education," he stressed.
The Confucius Institute U.S. Center also released a statement on the issue, saying that it was in no way involved in any Confucius Institute curriculum, employment, or funding.
"Our office... is being targeted symbolically. CIUS has no influence, let alone 'malign' influence, over how universities run and manage their own Confucius Institute language programmes," it said.