Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying attends a press conference on March 22, 2018. (Photo: fmprc.gov.cn)
Beijing (People's Daily) - China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sharply criticized the proposal by three Republican lawmakers to require the US Confucius Institutes cultural centers to register as foreign agents.
"The establishment of US Confucius Institutes was based on US universities' voluntary applications and aimed to increase educational and cultural exchanges to help improve mutual understanding and boost friendship," said ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.
Hua made the comments at a Thursday press conference, according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The measure proposed by the Republicans would also require universities to disclose donations, contracts or in-kind gifts valued at $50,000 or more from any foreign source, Reuters reported.
"The real issue for those who made noise about China is about how they view the world and China's development," said Hua. "It is about whether they could truly abandon the Cold War mentality, the zero-sum game, the outdated either-or thinking, and cooperate with other countries for mutual benefit and win-win results."
"Hearing all those noises, sometimes it makes me think of a saying from the Confucius: 'The gentleman is calm and at ease, while the small man is always fretting,'" said Hua.
"We hope that these people can abandon their outmoded ideas and get their brains, along with their bodies, into the 21st century, and objectively and rationally view the trends of the time in global development and China's development progress."
There are more than 100 Confucius Institutes offering language and cultural programs in US, according to the website of the Confucius Institute headquarters.