China has urged the U.S. to stop politicizing educational exchange programs, regular people-to-people exchanges, and mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries, said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, on Friday at a press briefing.
The remarks came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday threatened to close all Confucius Institutes in the U.S.
Zhao said the Confucius Institutes support the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in the U.S. for deeper cross-cultural understanding and language development.
The daily operation and management of these Confucius Institutes adhere to local laws, Zhao said, adding that China reserves the right to make a further reaction.
He rebuked Pompeo's groundless remarks that were made out of ideological prejudice and political interests, urging U.S. politicians like Pompeo to correct their mistakes and stop politicizing normal education and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
The comments have severely harmed the mutual trust and cooperation between China and the U.S., Zhao warned.