The China Connection: Jay Chen and Confucius Institutes

As Jay Chen spirals over mail pieces that accurately highlight his decade-long backing of Chinese Communist Party Confucius Institutes, it is worth noting a few salient points about the Institutes Chen STILL supports – what the U.S. State Department has said is an effort to advance Beijing’s global propaganda. 

  • As of February, Chen was still supporting the Institutes, going so far as to fundraise off the topic and calling Michelle Steel “xenophobic” for pointing out his lingering support of the CCP-backed indoctrination effort.
  • Chen to this day refuses to acknowledge that the Institutes are an effort by the Chinese Communist Party to infiltrate America’s classrooms.
  • Chen is literally one of very few in America who still support the Confucius Institutes:
    • In March 2021, the U.S. Senate voted UNANIMOUSLY to increase oversight of the Institutes.
    • Pro-Democracy Organization, FDD, writesConfucius Institutes have long been considered a key element in China’s “united front,” a network of groups and key individuals that seek to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
    • A bipartisan report from 2019 said that the Institutes are “controlled, funded, and mostly staffed by the Chinese government.

“For someone who’s spent the last 10 years supporting CCP-backed Confucius Institutes, Jay Chen is curiously upset as that support is highlighted to voters in Southern California,” said Steel Campaign Spokesperson Lance Trover. “The real question for Jay Chen, however, is after broad bipartisan consensus that these Institutes are an effort by China to infiltrate American schools – why is he still such an ardent supporter of allowing them into our educational system?”

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