Weibo: The Cost of Confucius Institutes

Confucius Institutes, Chinese learning centers in foreign universities and schools affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, have come under plenty of scrutiny for their control of curricula. Last month’s U.S. visa kerfuffle put the institutes in the spotlight again. Weibo user GriotWildTales brings up yet another unseemly side of the institutes:

GriotWildTales: The annual budget for the Confucius Institute is several billion yuan, while over 20-some years Project Hope has helped 3.46 million impoverished students and built over 15,000 elementary schools with a total of just 5.67 billion yuan. Meanwhile, the winning bid for building the Confucius Institute website, “the most expensive website in history,” reached 35.2 million yuan. Wang Yongli, the legal representative for the successful bidder, “Five Continents Web,” is also the deputy director of Hanban [which runs the Confucius Institutes]. The government has gone abroad with a fist full of cash to open schools, to the point where even Americans can’t stand it.

稗官野记 : 孔子学院,一年预算几十亿。而希望工程历经20多年,总募款才56.7亿元,但资助了346万困难学生,建设了希望小学1.5万余所。而 “史上最贵网站”网络孔子学院的招标费高达3520万元。中标的“五洲网络”法人代表王永利,其另外身份是国家汉办副主任。政府大把撒钱到国外办学,就连 美国人都看不下去了。

While GriotWildTales touts Project Hope, it is not unsullied by controversy, either. Allegations emerged in 2002 and again in 2011 of misspent funds, earning it the nickname Project Hope-less. Its sister program, the China-Africa Hope Project, launched last year in Tanzania, was also found to be diverting funds, as well as lying about its affiliations with government and other bodies.

Via SneezeBloid. Translation by Deng Bolun.