US Universities End Confucius Institutes, Chinese Reactions

A view of an American university campus through an arch.

From NetEase:

Two American Universities Announce Closure of Confucius Institutes in the Same Week

Have Americans lost their self-confidence? Following the University of Chicago’s September 25th announcement that it’ll be ceasing its Confucius Institute partnership, Pennsylvania State University announced on October 1st that it would terminate its 5 year partnership with China’s Confucius Institute at the end of the year instead of renewing it.

Reuters reports that this is the second American university to stop its partnership with China’s Confucius Institute this week. Previously, America’s University of Chicago had announced on September 25th that it would terminate its partnership with the Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute at the University of Chicago was established in 2010.

In response, the Foreign Affairs Ministry responded on September 29th saying that all of the Confucius Institutes in the United States were voluntarily applied for by American Universities; are established through friendly consultations and formal agreements between the Confucius Institute headquarters, Chinese universities, and the respective American universities; that Confucius Institutes provide teachers, teaching material, and such support and help in accordance with the voluntary application by the American side; has never been imposed on anyone; and therefore cannot constitute a threat to a university’s academic freedom or integrity.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the 2nd saying the actions of several universities lately reflect their great dissatisfaction with the Confucius Institute, such as the Confucius Institute’s hiring practices and refusal to accept certain negative content and text about China’s history.

The vice president of the American Association of University Professors and chair of the committee that denounced the Confucius Institute said, “I respect the University of Chicago and Pennsylvania State University, and I also believe they will not be the only universities who want to end their cooperation with these value-less institutes (Confucius Institute).” On a statement made on the 1st, Pennsylvania State University Dean Dr. Susan Welch said, “Some of our goals are not consistent with the opinions of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, and the Office of Chinese Language Council International is the most important provider of support for all Confucius Institutes.

Previously, guancha.cn has published an article by media personality Liu Yang in which he said the American Association of University Professors have been calling on nearly 100 universities since June to cancel or renegotiate their agreements with China’s Confucius Institutes. Their main reason is that Confucius Institutes are funded by the Office of Chinese Language Council International under China’s Ministry of Education, and therefore believe Confucius Institutes are a branch of Chinese Communist Party propaganda, with the goal of spreading Chinese Communist Party ideology, and therefore violates academic freedom.

The article said there are many organizations similar to the Confucius Institute, such as the British Council and Alliance Française, that American movies and television also for the most part contain distinct American ideology and characteristics. Now that it is facing a fast-developing China, American culture is also showing weakness hidden behind an outward display of strength.

The article believes America’s attitude towards the Confucius Institute also demonstrates its ignorance of Chinese culture. One of the essences of Chinese culture is “harmony in diversity”, that the spread of Chinese culture has never sought the extinguishing of other cultures as a goal. America’s apprehensions about Confucius Institutes reflects an old Chinese saying: judging the heart of a gentleman with one’s own mean measure [projecting one’s questionable motives onto others]. If they want to change this problem of theirs, America’s elite should take some classes in a Confucius Institute, learn the essence of Chinese culture, and then they won’t be so paranoid.

Comments from NetEase:

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天道机智王0 [网易湖北省黄冈市网友]:

Guangcha.cn actually said “have Americans lost their self-confidence?” This kind of idiotic remark, is a classic straw man and red herring.

网易湖北省武汉市手机网友 ip:113.57.*.*

With the garbage culture that Confucius Institutes export, it’d be strange if it wasn’t shut down!

扬帆乘风 [网易四川省德阳市网友]:

Confucius says: It’s time to increase wages for the working class!
Lao-Tze says: Confucius is right!

目田引导人民 [网易广东省广州市手机网友]:

The last part of the article is shameless. Moreover, isn’t others suspecting you of disseminating ideology and you saying others are afraid of you disseminating ideology being on the same page?

一十年 [网易浙江省温州市手机网友]:

The location of spies and money laundering!

爱国就不爱荡 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

Mozi, Zhuangzi, Han Fei and such historical scholars are immensely satisfied.

小志看新闻 [网易河南省许昌市手机网友]:

If your circumstances allow, it’s better to go abroad to study, to learn comparatively more objective history, learn true academic freedom, so that after graduation, you’ll be able to see problems/issues more objectively.

梦想一直不变 [网易河北省石家庄市辛集市手机网友]:

Confucius/Confucianism was useful for feudal emperors, and that’s why every dynasty promoted him. The moment Confucius disappears is the moment the China’s ordinary common people become citizens.

骑马o过海 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

Imperialist America advocates hegemony through strength, while Confucius promotes harmony through diversity. The two are incompatible. [This comment has similar amounts of upvotes and downvotes.]

MNICOUPER [网易河南省郑州市手机网友]:

They thought Western civilization was as easy to hoodwink as China’s ignorant masses.

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  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    i’m surprised that such strong feelings exist regarding the Confucius Institute amongst Chinese. I worked at one in Dublin and most of the students were themselves Chinese, doing pre-grad school prep. There were a few non-chinese taking courses, but not many (at least at that time). I imagine it was very helpful for Chinese students traveling here though.

    I’m curious if the animosity is geared toward China’s education system itself or if the Confucius institute’s past has been negatively portrayed in the social media before. Anyone know?

    • Guest

      Ditto. The Confucius Institute at my school mostly does cultural outreach, with the Chinese exchange students here working as volunteers. Works wells, since the exchange students themselves aren’t very good at getting to know non-Chinese folk (truth hurts). They certainly haven’t touched our Chinese history classes.

      • Dr Sun

        “cultural outreach” LMAO

        • David

          I suppose you have to have a nice sounding name for it.

          • mr.wiener

            Better than “Cultural reach around” I guess.

    • wes707

      Here, read up on the various issues surrounding the Confucius Institutes and Hanban:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticisms_of_Confucius_Institutes

      • Confucius

        I actually found the article quite balanced and it’s pretty clear, at least in the UK that the problem with the institutes are they are outside the political control of the ruling university elites and the large unfettered funding also provokes jealousy. I think the institutes provide a valuable counterpoint to the pervasive negative and superficial understanding of the Chinese in the rest of the world (not just the West) but, as with all counterpoints they do have a bias which the powers that be clearly tapped into to justify banning free speech and capitalist marketing. It does show a little insecurity on their part. As an academic institution though, ultimately when the negative views of the Chinese change I do hope that they will move away from their bias and become a more inclusive centre of study for Chinese culture.

        • Xio Gen

          The article was talking about how they didn’t want any negative aspects of Chinese history to be taught. In America, we teach the negative aspects freely (such as slavery, segregation, the genocide of Native Americans, poll taxes, child labor, the Great Depression, and Japanese internment). We provide a context: “We used to do this. This is bad. Here’s why, and why we should never do this again. Here’s what we’ve learned from it.” The UK does similarly with colonialism, as does Germany with World War II. It sounds like the Confucius Institute doesn’t want to teach about things such as the Cultural Revolution, foot binding, capital punishment, peasant revolts, killing missionaries, and suppression of the people.

    • lacompacida

      It is because the institute does not want contents it is not comfortable with more than anything else. Secondly, the institute hired teachers for primary and secondary school teachers with visas that only allow college level teachers. They should apply the appropriate visa, which may be difficult to obtain.

    • Dr Sun

      Have you ever read Confucius ideology and philosophy ?

      And how it turned a people, a nation into little more than slaves incapable of free creative thinking, you really want your children to be indoctrinated by that ?

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        I’m not surprised at all that AMERICANS don’t like it, my question was regarding Chinese students in China. The Chinese netizens don’t seem to like it any better than Americans.

        • Dr Sun

          I take it you are watching what is currently going on in HK now, 1989 in Beijing, the cultural revolution and the great leap into death, poverty and despair, the hundreds of years of tyrannical Emperors there all linked and one thing in common. ?

          • Don’t Believe the Hype

            I can’t tell if you are criticizing me, trying to explain something or just being sarcastic.

          • Dr Sun

            I think you know me well enough to decide for yourself, but as said they all have 1 thing in common and it is not the:

            1.The Tory Party.
            2.The Tea Party
            3.Karl Marx
            4.Ronald Reagan
            5. Winston Churchill
            6. George Galloway

            but it might be;

            1. Confucian ideology
            2. Confusion thinking
            3. Confusion political beliefs
            4. Confucius
            5 confusion support for dictatorship/ Emperor
            6. confusion ideal for forced “harmony”

          • Brido227

            Given your username, I take it you have more than a little knowledge of Chinese history and in particular the early 20th Century. I’m not sure how you can brand a nation that staged at least three revolutions in less than 50 years over ideology as a nation of slaves.

            If nothing else, in framing the Mandate of Heaven concept in terms of his Five Relationships, he provided an ethical guide for practicing government and a yardstick for judging when it was time to remove it – one which has been used a great many times in Chinese history.

          • mydriasis

            and he said that the Heavens will make sure the ones unworthy will be deposed of power.

            yeah right.

            keep quiet and wait in line. you know the government is shit but because the heavens haven’t killed them all yet, it means they are still legit.

            and you dare say this is not slavery?

          • Brido227

            I guess all those revolutions must just be figments of my imagination, then. What with them being slaves in their minds, and all.

            “名正才能言順.”

        • SongYii

          The Chinese netizens seem to oppose the obvious one-sidedness of the report. Also are suspicious of their own government’s motive in funding and administrating the program. I don’t think its an indictment of the courses themselves.

      • mr.wiener

        No wonder tha CCP got so keen on Confuciunistic values.

        • NicolasBourbaki

          What are “Confuciunistic” values? Would they be incompatible with democratistic values?

          • mr.wiener

            I see it as being more cultural than political. Just like that lovable hippy Jesus’ message of “Don’t be a dick to other people” gradually got changed to: “Killing pagans is way cool with God” in the west.
            In the east Confucius’ ideas (which I only have a vague understanding of) have become “your family is God, don’t question authority and everyone else can suck hind titty”.
            A wonderful mantra for an authoritarian govt.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            “Just like that lovable hippy Jesus’ message of ‘Don’t be a dick to other people'”

            I’m not aware of this Biblical passage. Do you have a book, chapter and verse number for this?

            “In the east Confucius’ ideas (which I only have a vague understanding of) have become “your family is God, don’t question authority and everyone else can suck hind titty””

            I’m not aware of this passage either. Are you quoting the Analects? If so which book and passage number?

            Oh, I see that you mention that you know very little about Confucius. There is a verb in the English language that basically means saying things when you have no clue. It starts with the letter ‘b’.

            And one of my favorite passages from the Analects says (from memory)

            “What is wisdom? Wisdom is maintaining that you know when you know and maintaining that you don’t when you don’t.”

          • mr.wiener

            My apologies for being flip with somethings you apparently feel deeply about. I could give you chapter and verse if you wish…but basicaly I feel more like going to rugby practice instead, as that is what I like.
            Do have a lovely evening asigning people verbs and abjectives.

          • Paul Schoe

            Yeeh Nicolas, “Just like that lovable hippy Jesus’ message of ‘Don’t be a dick to other people‘” and you don’t know what verse he is talking about?

            Are you sure that you know the bible? Or have you only learned to remember litteral quotes, while being totally unware of the meaning of the texts that you read?

            I found your comment very haughty which made me to reply, other then Wiener who was wise to go to rugby instead.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            Yeah, I have read the bible. Have you read the Analects of Confucius? So you’re saying that you can’t provide any quotes either to support the assertions of weiner? OK. Good for you.

          • mr.wiener

            Well instead of being an ass and bragging about your knowledge of the analects how about supplying us with a few to prove that Confucius was down with personal freedoms and such?
            You acuse others of bullshitting, how about supplying us with some substance?
            I like to think of CS as a place where people can learn things , rather than just flame.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            You seem to be threatened by my asking for you to support your assertions, to provide a citation. You seem to be threatened by knowledge or at least made to feel really insecure by it. Why did I threaten you and why do you feel that I was an “ass” because I asked you to support what you said?

          • Kai

            I don’t understand why this conversation has degenerated into this. Your objection is that Confucian philosophy is not completely at odds with democracy, right?

            If so, you understood what mr.wiener was saying but still sorta made fun of him for getting the Confucian adjective wrong. It wasn’t terribly combative but perhaps a little unnecessary.

            His reply to you was sincere. It was obvious to me at least that he recognized how (aspects of) Confucian ideology has been exploited by authoritarian government, similar to how (aspects of) Christian ideology has been perverted. That’s a pretty fair statement, don’t you think? Demonstrating that people both East and West have exploited ideologies and belief systems for questionable ends if not subjugation?

            Your response is where I think things derailed. For some reason, you decided to demand a chapter and verse for an obviously humorous rephrasing of a moral teaching attributed to Jesus. You’re not so stupid as to think mr.wiener believes those were the exact words in the bible, so why?

            Second, as someone who is apparently more familiar with Confucian philosophy than the average commenter on cS, why would you be unfamiliar with the popular belief (and stereotype) that a key tenet of Confucian philosophy is a hierachy of relationships? You should already be aware of how many people, especially Westerners, have this sort of simplistic pop culture understanding of Confucianism.

            Your original objection (and point) is valid. Confucianism isn’t necessarily incompatible with democracy. Beyond the hierarchy of relationships, there’s a lot of other nuance and facets to Confucianism. Bringing all of this up to support your point is entirely fine and highly desirable.

            Playing dumb and straw-manning the other guy in the conversation is not.

            mr.wiener would only be “bullshitting” if he was being dishonest. What makes you think he’s being dishonest and not merely just less informed about Confucianism than you? Don’t you think you got on his case a bit too hard without first ascertaining ill-intent or even inexcusable ignorance on his part?

          • Kai

            I don’t understand why this conversation has degenerated into this. Your objection is that Confucian philosophy is not completely at odds with democracy, right?

            If so, you understood what mr.wiener was saying but still sorta made fun of him for getting the Confucian adjective wrong. It wasn’t terribly combative but perhaps a little unnecessary.

            His reply to you was sincere. It was obvious to me at least that he recognized how (aspects of) Confucian ideology has been exploited by authoritarian government, similar to how (aspects of) Christian ideology has been perverted. That’s a pretty fair statement, don’t you think? Demonstrating that people both East and West have exploited ideologies and belief systems for questionable ends if not subjugation?

            Your response is where I think things derailed. For some reason, you decided to demand a chapter and verse for an obviously humorous rephrasing of a moral teaching attributed to Jesus. You’re not so stupid as to think mr.wiener believes those were the exact words in the bible, so why?

            Second, as someone who is apparently more familiar with Confucian philosophy than the average commenter on cS, why would you be unfamiliar with the popular belief (and stereotype) that a key tenet of Confucian philosophy is ahierachy of relationships? You should already be aware of how many people, especially Westerners, have this sort of simplistic pop culture understanding of Confucianism.

            Your original objection (and point) is valid. Confucianism isn’t necessarily incompatible with democracy. Beyond the hierarchy of relationships, there’s a lot of other nuance and facets to Confucianism. Bringing all of this up to support your point is entirely fine and highly desirable.

            Playing dumb and straw-manning the other guy in the conversation is not.

            mr.wiener would only be “bullshitting” if he was being dishonest. What makes you think he’s being dishonest and not merely just less informed about Confucianism than you? Don’t you think you got on his case a bit too hard without first ascertaining ill-intent or even inexcusable ignorance on his part?

          • NicolasBourbaki

            “Your objection is that Confucian philosophy is not completely at odds with democracy, right?”

            No, my objection was that Confucius never said anything that can be reasonably interpreted as saying that you shouldn’t criticize or go against authority. That was what many people claimed above including mr weiner. I asked them for a citation. You can see what happened next. In fact, Confucius actually said many things that supported criticizing authority and not going alone with the status quo or whatever when those in positions of authority or influence are wrong or immoral.

            This doesn’t have anything to do with democracy. But I do agree that Confucian values don’t contradict and in fact support certain conceptions of democracy but that’s a different issue.

            BTW, just because people think some stereotype is true doesn’t mean that we should go along with it. You say that many people believe Confucius believed so and so. So what? Just because people think something is true I should go along with it? Maybe it’s you that believe that you shouldn’t question authority or popular belief? Maybe that’s not the smartest thing to do?

            BTW, you should look up what bullshit means. Bullshit as I was using the term doesn’t mean he was being dishonest. It means he was talking out his ass, saying things he doesn’t have a clue about and yet pretended to know.

            http://www.amazon.com/On-Bullshit-Harry-G-Frankfurt/dp/0691122946

          • Kai

            No, my objection was that Confucius never said anything that can be reasonably interpreted as saying that you shouldn’t criticize or go against authority.

            Fair enough, I was extrapolating from this comment of yours. Pretty sure my extrapolation isn’t horribly off.

            That was what many people claimed above including mr weiner. I asked them for a citation. You can see what happened next.

            The thing is, I don’t think mr.wiener was particularly unreasonable in what he said. So I see him responding quite sincerely and you being unreasonably flippant and contemptuous in response. Might you consider that he didn’t deserve your ire?

            In fact, Confucius actually said many things that supported criticizing authority and not going alone with the status quo or whatever when those in positions of authority or influence are wrong or immoral.

            Yes, I know. But we also both know the popular stereotypes about Confucianism being conducive towards authoritarianism. A Chinese netizen (梦想一直不变) expressed a similar sentiment.

            This doesn’t have anything to do with democracy. But I do agree that Confucian values don’t contradict and in fact support certain conceptions of democracy but that’s a different issue.

            Again, I was refering to the context your previous comment established.

            BTW, just because people think some stereotype is true doesn’t mean that we should go along with it.

            I’m not saying anyone should go along with stereotypes. I’m saying it’s important to consider them being the reason people say certain things so we can respond more appropriately and incisively.

            You say that many people believe Confucius believed so and so. So what? Just because people think something is true I should go along with it? Maybe it’s you that believe that you shouldn’t question authority or popular belief? Maybe that’s not the smartest thing to do?

            Huh? You need to reread the discussion AND my previous reply to you.

            BTW, you should look up what bullshit means. Bullshit as I was using the term doesn’t mean he was being dishonest. It means he was talking out his ass, saying things he doesn’t have a clue about and yet pretended to know.

            Pretending to know about things you don’t have a clue about is a form of dishonesty, isn’t it?

            The way I saw this conversation unfold, as I outlined in my previous response, was mr.wiener sharing what he understood about Confucianism and how it may have been seen as amenable to CCP authoritarianism. He even qualified that he may be ignorant. What he said reflects what I consider a fairly widespread and well-known pop culture understanding of Confucian philosophy (hierarchy of relationships). It is, to me, an oversimplified and not particularly nuanced understanding of Confucianism but it isn’t something that is out of the blue. He didn’t, in my opinion, say anything particularly offensive or dogmatic

            You, on the other hand, seemed to play stupid by demanding chapter and verse for his obvious facetious rendering of a Jesus message. To me, you were the first to be uncivil, and I can’t really see a reasonable proximate cause for it. You’re free to quote what mr.wiener said to warrant your escalation to a nasty attitude towards him.

            There are far better examples on cS of people arrogantly talking about things they are woefully ignorant about. I don’t think mr.wiener’s comment there remotely approaches a level deserving of the ire you gave him. I urge you to review the conversation and how it unfolded, and consider the possibility that you may have been unreasonably short with him.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            “Fair enough, I was extrapolating from this comment of yours. Pretty sure my extrapolation isn’t horribly off.”

            I said nothing about democracy in that comment. I was talking about “Confucianistic” and “Democratistic” values. I don’t know what these terms mean so I asked mr weiner what they meant since he used the first term so I thought he might know what the second term meant since they both are not in the dictionary and have “cratistic”.

            “The thing is, I don’t think mr.wiener was particularly unreasonable in what he said. So I see him responding quite sincerely and you being unreasonably flippant and contemptuous in response.”

            I don’t know why you consider my questions contemptuous. They were a little flippant (not totally a bad thing sometimes) but they certainly don’t deserve the defensiveness that he responded with. And I don’t think it was reasonable nor civil of him to call me an “ass” and accuse me of “bragging”. Maybe you don’t consider this “contemptuous” and “uncivil” but consider my Socratic questions to be so (though I admit they were flippant and sarcastic but were perfectly appropriate) but that seems unreasonable on your behalf.

            Look, it is perfectly justified IMO to call out bullshit when you see it. I don’t see the value in not calling out bullshit and letting it slide. Say you admired Gandhi’s works and someone said that Gandhi supported the Nazis and was an antisemite and supported child molestation. You’d demand citations too right? And if someone demanded evidence in a sarcastic or flippant tone do they do so without justification? Why would such a petty thing as, in your opinion, the “uncivil” tone get in the way of the substance of the criticism? The civility police should rethink its jurisdiction. It’s in my opinion that those who demand civility from others are often the most uncivil. Calling someone contemptuous, an ass, saying they were bragging and had a “nasty attitude” such as you and mr weiner has called me and has displayed just as much flippancy and sarcasm towards me is a good example of that incivility.

          • Kai

            I said nothing about democracy in that comment. I was talking about “Confucianistic” and “Democratistic” values. I don’t know what these terms mean so I asked mr weiner what they meant since he used the first term so I thought he might know what the second term meant since they both are not in the dictionary and have “cratistic”.

            Are you trying to get banned for trolling?

            I don’t know why you consider my questions contemptuous.

            I said your response was contemptuous. Maybe accusing him of “bullshiting” has something to do with it?

            And I don’t think it was reasonable nor civil of him to call me an “ass” and accuse me of “bragging”.

            …which occured after you first responded to him with incivility and arguably like an ass. His first response to you was quite sincere. His second response to you (after you played stupid and accused him of bullshitting) expressed annoyance but a desire to no longer bother. His third response was after you took another swipe at him.

            When you behave like an ass to others, don’t be surprised when they call you on it.

            Maybe you don’t consider this “contemptuous” and “uncivil” but consider my Socratic questions to be so (though I admit they were flippant and sarcastic but were perfectly appropriate) but that seems unreasonable on your behalf.

            Did you not read my initial reply to you? I said:

            “Your original objection (and point) is valid. Confucianism isn’t necessarily incompatible with democracy. Beyond the hierarchy of relationships, there’s a lot of other nuance and facets to Confucianism. Bringing all of this up to support your point is entirely fine and highly desirable.”

            Despite poking fun at mr.wiener for getting the adjective Confician wrong, I said your (sure, Socratic) question was a valid and good point in my opinion. Was the poking fun bit “perfectly appropriate”? Not in my opinion. It was kinda petty but I considerd it mostly harmless. mr.wiener didn’t seem horribly annoyed by it either and, again, he replied to you sincerely.

            You subsequently playing stupid, demanding chapter and verse, and accusing him of bullshitting is when things became uncivil, contemptuous, and unreasonable.

            This conversation unfolded in a specific order. Please respect that.

            Look, it is perfectly justified IMO to call out bullshit when you see it. I don’t see the value in not calling out bullshit and letting it slide.

            It’s justified to call out bullshit in my opinion as well. I also don’t think there is value in not calling out bullshit and letting it slide. No one, however, is criticizing you for calling out bullshit. I am criticizing you for playing stupid and attacking someone unfairly. Don’t conflate the two.

            Kindly articulate how mr.wiener was “bullshitting” in this comment of his. What basis do you have for believing him dishonest as opposed to being merely (and self-admittedly, at that) less informed? Did you ever consider to inform him that while Confucism does have aspects that seemingly support authoritarianism, there’s much of it that actually isn’t ideological incompatible with democracy?

            Did you ever consider how continuing this charade of not understanding what he meant by “Confucianistic” makes you seem more eager to lord a petty mistake over him rather than actually move forward in this discussion?

            Say you admired Gandhi’s works and someone said that Gandhi supported the Nazis and was an antisemite and supported child molestation. You’d demand citations too right?

            I don’t believe you are unfamiliar with the notions mr.wiener presented involving Confucianism and Christianity. As such, I believe you are playing dumb, for what profit I cannot for the life of me fathom except to be obnoxious. A more reasonable, civil person would’ve objected to his exaggeration of “don’t question authority” if not his obvious facetiousness, and proceeded to point out why it is an exaggeration by showing how Confucianism does provide for questioning authority (Analetcts 14:22, and bonus: 12:7 is fun.)

            And for the love of god, the book, chapter, and verse for the “don’t be a dick to others” Golden Rule is Matthew 7:12.

            And if someone demanded evidence in a sarcastic or flippant tone do they do so without justification? Why would such a petty thing as, in your opinion, the “uncivil” tone get in the way of the substance of the criticism?

            You’re conflating again. Tone matters. It’s often the difference between being earnest and sincere versus being a troll intentionally being inflammatory for the lulz.

            Calling someone contemptuous, an ass, saying they were bragging and had a “nasty attitude” such as you and mr weiner has called me and has displayed just as much flippancy and sarcasm towards me is a good example of that incivility.

            There’s a difference between initiating incivility and responding to incivility with incivility. There really is such a thing as “he started it”. You are responsible for what you initiated. Others are responsible for how they responded, but their response will be judged in the context of the situation you created and will as such be mitigated appropriately. As someone who is apparently familiar with Confucianism, this should not be an alien concept to you.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            You really do seem like an insecure petty little fellow with the way that you have behaved. mr weiner has apologized for his flippancy. Yet you haven’t said anything to him about it. That shows your bias. Why are you so offended at someone calling out bullshit? I’m offended at bullshit. You’re offended at the word bullshit. So what? Are you that petty to get into this huge row over the word bullshit? That’s a rhetorical question.

            “As such, I believe you are playing dumb, for what profit I cannot for the life of me fathom except to be obnoxious.”

            It’s called sarcasm but don’t strain yourself thinking about what it means.

            “A more reasonable, civil person would’ve objected to his exaggeration of “don’t question authority” if not his obvious facetiousness, and proceeded to point out why it is an exaggeration by showing how Confucianism does provide for questioning authority (Analetcts 14:22, and bonus: 12:7is fun.)”

            First of all, I did provide these links above and several more from Confucius. Are you the one playing dumb now? Somehow I doubt it’s playing.

            “And for the love of god, the book, chapter, and verse for the “don’t be a dick to others” Golden Rule is Matthew 7:12.”

            You forgot Mark 12:31 where it is said to love your neighbor as you do yourself. Now both these parts can be, on a stretch, interpreted as “Don’t be a dick”. But again, why are you so defensive and why is he so defensive at me asking for a quote? I happen to think these interpretations into “don’t be a dick” to be a stretch but that’s a debatable point. What is utterly bullshit is interpreting Confucius as saying that one shouldn’t ever question authority.

            “Tone matters.”

            And yours and mr weiners are disgraceful. Calling someone an ass because they used the word bullshit which got your hypersensitive panties in a bunch? Grow up.

            So you find my “playing dumb” and using the word bullshit offensive, uncivil and being an all around meany. Good for you. I find your pettiness and name calling offensive, childish, hypocritical and just plane sad.

            I don’t know why you and weiner got your panties in such a bunch over that. So you want to ban me because I use the word bullshit while you allow all kinds of offensive and even racist stuff to be posted here and insults from those you agree with. That shows what a small petty person you are.

            And yes, Confucius did dislike bullshit artists too. And he was rather an “ass” about it. You would have hectored him too with petty insults and hyperdefensive pestering.

            Analects 13.3 from the Ames and Rosemont translation.

            “Were the Lord of Wey to turn the administration of his state over to you, what would be your first priority?” asked Zilu

            “Without question it would be to insure that names are used properly” Replied the Master.

            “Would you be as impractical as that?” responded Zilu
            “What is it for names to be used properly anyway?”

            “How can you be so dense!” replied Confucius. “An exemplary person defers on matters he doesn’t understand.”

            I honestly hope that next time mr weiner (or others for that matter) will differ on matters he doesn’t understand instead of continuing to bullshit like he knew what he was talking about calling others an ass when questioned and called out on it and then acting like they’re on their moral high horse.

          • Kai

            mr weiner has apologized for his flippancy. Yet you haven’t said anything to him about it. That shows your bias.

            No, it shows that I don’t think he has to.

            Why are you so offended at someone calling out bullshit?

            Please, quote where I’ve expressed offense at someone calling out bullshit. Otherwise, knock it off with the straw men.

            You’re offended at the word bullshit. So what? Are you that petty to get into this huge row over the word bullshit? That’s a rhetorical question.

            What? I’m not offended at the word “bullshit”. I simply disagree with you accusing mr.wiener of bullshitting. Another straw man argument.

            It’s called sarcasm but don’t strain yourself thinking about what it means.

            Repeatedly demanding for chapter and verse for things you are already familiar with goes beyond mere “sarcasm”. It crosses into “playing dumb”.

            First of all, I did provide these links above and several more from Confucius. Are you the one playing dumb now? Somehow I doubt it’s playing.

            Holy crap, have you taken into account that the comment where you cited relevant passages in the Analetcs is not part of this discussion thread but on a completely separate one, one that isn’t immediately visible to either mr.wiener, me, you, or anyone else when we click to the latest replies on this thead?

            Have you considered that mr.wiener didn’t see that comment of yours on that separate thread? And that’s why mr.wiener replied with annoyance to you? If he had seen it (or remembers it), would he ask you to provide them? Would it have killed you to point out (even better, directly link to), that you had provided Analetcs citations in another comment elsewhere here?

            Instead, you continued being an ass. Instead of considering that he simply didn’t see that comment of yours, you chose to presume he’s insecure, defensive, and threatened by knowledge. Wow, dude, way to go.

            BTW, that’s a better example of mere “sarcasm”.

            You forgot Mark 12:31 where it is said to love your neighbor as you do yourself. Now both these parts can be, on a stretch, interpreted as “Don’t be a dick”.

            Oh Jesus Christ, I didn’t forget. I just didn’t think it necessary. You also proved me right about you playing dumb because you ARE familiar with what mr.wiener was facetiously referring to but pretended he was being literal and demanding book, chapter, and verse to substantiate that part of his comment.

            And no, it isn’t much of a “stretch” to reach “don’t be a dick to others”.

            But again, why are you so defensive and why is he so defensive at me asking for a quote? I happen to think these interpretations into “don’t be a dick” to be a stretch but that’s a debatable point.

            mr.wiener was “defensive” because you went on the attack. His “defensiveness” was also to excuse himself from the conversation because he found rugby more interesting than someone who unreasonably attacked him.

            I’m less defensive and more critical of you. Amusingly, my interest in this conversation can be described as me seeing bullshit and calling out that bullshit.

            What is utterly bullshit is interpreting Confucius as saying that one shouldn’t ever question authority.

            And yet it isn’t a remotely esoteric pop culture oversimplification of Confucianism, especially among Westerners. I don’t even think mr.wiener “interpreted” Confucius. It’s more likely he learned of that notion through secondary sources.

            If that’s what he understands and he faithfully expressed what he understands, he’s not “bullshitting”. What he understands may be “bullshit”, but he’s not “bullshitting”. Instead of considering that he may have a mistaken understanding of Confucianism, you accused him of dishonesty.

            And yours and mr weiners are disgraceful. Calling someone an ass because they used the word bullshit which got your hypersensitive panties in a bunch? Grow up.

            He didn’t call you an ass for using the word “bullshit”. He called you an ass for accusing him of bullshitting (and for being an ass in the discussion). Stop with the straw men accusations.

            So you find my “playing dumb” and using the word bullshit offensive, uncivil and being an all around meany. Good for you. I find your pettiness and name calling offensive, childish, hypocritical and just plane sad.

            See above. I’m not sure how I’m being petty, to be honest. Criticizing your behavior is not simple name-calling. Name calling is like calling you an “ass” without articulating how you were being an ass. I’m articulating how you are, so that elevates my criticism beyond mere name-calling.

            I don’t know why you and weiner got your panties in such a bunch over that. So you want to ban me because I use the word bullshit while you allow all kinds of offensive and even racist stuff to be posted here and insults from those you agree with. That shows what a small petty person you are.

            Nope, I don’t want to ban you for using the word “bullshit”, I want to ban you for trolling. Specifically, you playing dumb in order to annoy people for no damn reason other than to be a dick (sorry, “ass”) to them. You have repeatedly and consistently sought to escalate the discussion with increasingly inflammatory remarks and accusations, first with mr.wiener and now me after both of us have tried to be very sincere and fair to you.

            And yes, Confucius did dislike bullshit artists too. And he was rather an “ass” about it. You would have hectored him too with petty insults and hyperdefensive pestering.

            Analects 13.3 from the Ames and Rosemont translation.

            “Were the Lord of Wey to turn the administration of his state over to you, what would be your first priority?” asked Zilu

            “Without question it would be to insure that names are used properly” Replied the Master.

            “Would you be as impractical as that?” responded Zilu
            “What is it for names to be used properly anyway?”

            “How can you be so dense!” replied Confucius. “An exemplary person defers on matters he doesn’t understand.”

            Confucius is rolling in his grave at this misapplication of the rectification of names.

            I honestly hope that next time mr weiner (or others for that matter) will differ on matters he doesn’t understand instead of continuing to bullshit like he knew what he was talking about calling others an ass when questioned and called out on it and then acting like they’re on their moral high horse.

            First, it’s “defer”.

            Second, you are, as I said, ascribing dishonest ill-intent where Occam’s Razor would suggest there isn’t any. He understood Confucianism that way. Unfortunately, a lot of people do. It isn’t fair to Confucianism but it is playing dumb to ignore that it is a popular belief. Why? Because it leads you to accusing him of bullshitting as if he knew what he was talking about when he was simply sharing what he understood, faulty as it was. The former is malicious. The latter is innocent. That difference matters.

            He called you an ass because you accused him of malicious ill-intent and he obviously feels he didn’t have any. Being mistaken is not automatically bullshitting.

            Please reread the conversation, and consider how your instigations contributed first to the degeneration of the discussion between you and mr.wiener and now your discussion with me when I started off AGREEING WITH YOU that it is important that people stop thinking of Confucianism as teaching people not to question authority. I don’t know why you are trying so damn hard to make an enemy out of someone who actually supported your original objection and point.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            This is what you consider offensive and (now) trolling: playing dumb (i.e. asking for citation in a sarcastic tone)? Wow, you really are a tiny petty individual. You hate me. I get it. I get on people’s nerves. Especially petty ones like you and mr weiner.

            Let’s see, I’ve asked for citations in a sarcastic tone (which you call “acting dumb” and which you now claim is a banable offense) and yet I have been called an ass and a now dick among many other things also in sarcastic tones and which is honky dory because they were by people like you or someone you agree with. You got mad because I called bullshitting behavior bullshitting. What kind of petty little shitbag are you? Why don’t you and mr weiner go fuck off to the rock you climbed out from under.

          • mr.wiener

            {From under a rock}
            Well… having followed this train wreck of a thread I must confess I’m still no closer to a proper understanding of Confucius. Especially as regards to democracy [I don’t think I ever referred to it as “Democratistic”] . I believe you posted some of his Analects. If so would you be kind enough to enough to leave me a link? As I believe I mentioned earlier I like to think people can learn new things on CS, rather than just flame each other.
            With that in mind do you know any of his Analects that are specific to not picking quarrels and how to best deal with disagreements?
            That would be spun bloody gold for me as a moderator.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            “I believe you posted some of his Analects. If so would you be kind enough to enough to leave me a link?”

            I suggest the Ames and Rosemont translation of the Analects. Also the DC Lau version is quite good and both with good commentary.

            ” As I believe I mentioned earlier I like to think people can learn new things on CS, rather than just flame each other.”

            This goes for moderators too?

            “With that in mind do you know any of his Analects that are specific to not picking quarrels and how to best deal with disagreements?”

            Why would you not pick quarrels? It says many places in the Analects that one of the best thing about the different relationships people can have is that you have someone that criticize you (e.g. 14:22) and you you obviously shouldn’t take this personally. It also says a couple of times that if you are ignorant on somethings, you should defer on these matters and not keep going on talking in arrogant ways as if you do understandknow. That would be insincere and yes, acting like a dick.

          • mr.wiener

            Would having an opinion, but adding the caveat of admitting ignorance count as not bullshitting?
            Edit: When criticizing another person, do you think you are more likely to change their mind if your tone is sarcastic or sincere?

          • NicolasBourbaki

            “Would having an opinion, but adding the caveat of admitting ignorance count as not bullshitting?”

            It wouldn’t just be bullshitting, it would be brazen bullshitting. So when people brazenly bullshit, admit they know little to nothing and still speak as if they knew don’t be surprised when someone replies in a sarcastic tone. It would be like if I said I never read anything by MLK but that he supported the KKK and loved for black people to be lynched. Informed people will be justified in asking questions and they probably will be using tones you and kai consider “playing dumb” and “trolling”.

          • mr.wiener

            Then we will have to disagree on that.
            Admitting in advance that you are not an expert on something would seem to be a cue for an expert to politely [hopefully] educate them. Perhaps I am an ignorant ass, but an elitist or overbearing attitude would make you a perhaps worse species of ass, an educated ass.
            You seem to have reserved the right of sarcasm solely for your own use.Anyone else using it , to your mind is being unreasonably rude….well, sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I’ll stick to my paraphrasing of Jesus on that one and treat others as I would hope to be treated myself.

            Thank you for much food for thought and some good reading threads I can follow up on in the future. I don’t expect I’ll see much from you unless the topic strays to Confucian thought, which hopefully I will be a little better read up on in the future.
            Cheers.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            This kind of petty quibbling is beneath me. But if you and dragon lady kai want to rage on about it, be my guest.

          • mr.wiener

            This petty quibbling is what we deal with everyday.
            But if you want to have one last snark, feel free. I’ve said all I needed to say.

          • mr.wiener

            It is more amused exasperation than defensive bro.
            Sorry if I said anything that offended, it was not meant to be taken as such.

          • Paul Schoe

            Oh my, I am so totally embarrassed that I bite and give a reply. But nevertheless. Since you seem to be serious about having read the Bible.

            Some people would even say that the ‘Don’t be a dick to other people ‘ that Wiener referred to is the essential part of the New Testament. To them it is the most important part of what Jesus was about.

            I am not willing to do all the work for you. Because you are apparently so keen on other people being able to quote books and verses, one might expect from you some basic knowledge about one of the essential concepts of the New Testament.

            Matthew, Luke. Mark, James and even Leviticus, they all mention the ‘Jesus Message‘ that Wiener refers to. Albeit that Jesus does not use the word ‘dick ‘ ;-)

            Other verses from Matthew, Luke, James and in Romans, they use different words than the ones above, but they can still be summarized as ‘Don’t be a dick to other people

            If after this, you still don’t have a clue, but feel that you remain justified to question other people about books and verses, then I suggest that you go to a priest and ask her/him were people read this message. I am confident that she/he can enlighten you.

            (sorry for being a dick, to somebody who was riding a little bit less high on their horse, I would have pleasantly provided exact verse numbers)

          • NicolasBourbaki

            That’s awesome, that really is that you can name a few Books from the Bible. But you shouldn’t get offended or defensive when someone asks for a citation for a assertion they made. That’s how informed discussions work. When someone starts bullshitting (i.e., start making claims they clearly have no business making such as claiming Confucius believed that we shouldn’t be allowed to challenge authority or to criticize it) it’s important that people ask for them to cite the source of their claims. That’s not getting on any high horses. That’s just asking someone to provide reasons, evidence. Don’t be threatened by that.

          • Rick in China

            Actually, he essentially does – because it’s a translation. “Don’t be a dick to other people” has the same meaning as Ephesians 4:32’s many translations, essentially be kind and forgiving to others, since none of these words were spoken and it’s a different language – I suppose they are all equally valid, no? I think the most important point here, though, is that it’s not the QUOTE that matters, it’s the meaning – and it’s absolutely obvious that NicolasBourbaki has no concept of the meaning, because he’s continually being a dick in this thread.

          • Paul Schoe

            ;-)

          • mydriasis

            please cite your source, page number, edition, year of publishing and how many people borrowed the book for this statement :

            “There is a verb in the English language that basically means saying things when you have no clue. It starts with the letter ‘b’.”

          • David

            Absolutely incompatible. The point of Democracy (as is practiced in the modern world) is for individuals to be able to participate in the government. This requires the freedom to express opinions and act in a way that supports the individual. This is the opposite of what Confucius taught. For a guy who just accused Dr. Sun of never reading Confucius, it seems strange that you do not know this.

          • mr.wiener

            I think that was more a dig at me for my poor English than a serious question about the comparability of Confucianism and democratic values.I made the mistake of thinking it was a serious question also.

          • NicolasBourbaki

            And yet you make these accusations without any quote from Confucius. You are a bullshit artist. Confucius did not teach that people ought not have the freedom to express their opinions. You mindlessly think this because you have been brainwashed to think this despite never having read any Confucius.

          • Dr Sun

            David I believe my antagonist in this “NicolasBourbanki” read some “Confucius says” jokes and believes that is what he really said.

          • Confucius say he who fart in church sit in own pew

        • Xia

          The word is “Confucian”

          Imo, the CCP is not at all Confucian but thoroughly utilitarian, uses everything that is useful to them.

          • mr.wiener

            Thanks for that. I think my English has been getting all “Don King” lately.
            I agree with what you say about China and “Confucian” values. I think the European colonial powers did something very similar with “Christianity” when they conquered the new world.

          • Paul Shanahan

            I think you misunderstand what “utilitarian” as a political philosophy means.
            I suggest you read this as a starting point:
            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarian

            I think what you mean is they engage in realpolitik.

          • Xia

            I mean exactly what the wikipedia article describes: Everything is a means to an end. Everyone to their maximized utility for the Party’s goals.

        • iLcOrNaLiTo

          Well…I’m Confuced.

          • mr.wiener

            LOL.

      • NicolasBourbaki

        Stop bullshitting. You’ve never read Confucius. You’ve never understood anything by him. What turned China into slaves are people with slave mentalities who spew things they don’t understand but pretend they do.

        • masonman

          Confucianism demands that you respect groups of people based upon things other than merit. Than alone should be enough to remove it from your life.

          Loyalty to your parents just because they’re your parents, loyalty to the state just because its the state.

          This is a destructive way of thinking.

          If the Chinese had embraced Laozi instead of Confucius, the Chinese would probably already be colonizing Mars.

          • Kai

            No, that’s the inaccurate oversimplification of Confucianism. Look further into the rectification of names. You can start here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rectification_of_names

            Confucianism proffers hiearchal relationships, like parents > children. However, the rectification of names requires that people live up to being “parents” in order to be accorded the respect owed that “name”. That means they earn and keep that respect through merit.

            While this may also be an oversimplification, you have to understand that Confucius was about how there can be overall social harmony. He understood it as everyone playing their proper role, and each role comes with obligations of conduct by the person in the role or those interacting with the role. If a father behaves like a “father”, then the son should behave like a “son” with proper respect for that “father”, because the “father” also owes certain respect to the “son”. If A, then B.

            You are supposed to respect people based on their name (role), but they only have that name if they live up to that name. This doesn’t mean people can’t make mistakes; it’s holistic. When everyone plays their part and interacts with each other according to their respective roles, then there is harmony.

            It’s not a destructive way of thinking. It’s a promotion of personal morality and integrity. He promoted good people setting good examples over using punishments to disincentivize bad behavior. He saw the latter as temporary, and not something that could be a guiding principle in life. It’s like, do you avoid doing something because you’re afraid of something or do you not do something because it is against who you are.

            There are many things you can criticize Confucius for, but he shouldn’t be criticized due to an inadequate understanding of his philosophy and its nuances.

          • mydriasis

            unfortunately reality and human nature don’t work with his Mandate of Heavens theory, which says that the heavens will deposes an unworthy father (i.e. official) from his position.

          • Kai

            Actually, the awesome thing about the Mandate of Heaven is that it’s an ex post facto explanation (or more accurately: justification). A deposed ruler is said to have been deposed because he lost the mandate of heaven. It’s attributing cause after the fact. Mighty convenient, but not unique to Confucianism or the Chinese. It’s like how successful Christians attribute their success to being blessed, or their failure to them being punished for something.

        • Dr Sun

          I have as a matter of fact.
          Your forth sentence ( i was going to say second, until I realised your first three sentences contained as little as two and no more than 6 words in each) is way too junior school to even respond to.

      • RAWR

        You obviously don’t know anything about Confucian ideology. Confucious actually said loyalty to the family is more important than loyalty to the state (government).

      • David

        I suspect the Chinese students themselves understand this better than most western academics. Although it does not say it in the article, the programs have probably been shut down with their urging.

    • tcl334

      I am a genuine Chinese. These are comments from NetEase, usually 9 in 10 NetEase netizens will leave negative reviews, personal abuse and dirty talk below every news. NetEase comment field are called “pig farm” by other higher quality web communities.
      Weibo and Tianya are somehow better than NetEase.
      This piece of news is from Guancha.cn, in that website many pro-gov and
      patriotic netizens gathering, hence the reviews are quite different from NetEase, they think the closing of the institutes is US censorship.

      • Kai

        While I strongly agree that NetEase has certain characteristics (and slants) as a community (like all communities), I’m gonna offer my personal opinion that I’m not really sure Weibo and Tianya are necessarily better.

        Weibo can be better depending on the circle you surround yourself with, like Twitter, but in terms of general community, it’s a crap shoot. Tianya maybe has some pockets of activity left but it generally died after the Chinese internet transitioned away from discussion forums to social networks. The amount of spam and bots on Tianya is pretty disturbing, overshadowed only perhaps by Mop.

        The slant with NetEase compared to other major portal sites is that its commenting community arguably skews liberal and anti-establishment, partly because it attracts a more white-collar, middle-class audience, similar to the difference between Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.

        • tcl334

          You are so wrong in the view of NetEase commenters. Unlike Weibo, NetEase allows anonymity comments, they don’t even need a account before commenting, thus the quality of comments are much lower. And there’re other magic reasons which make NetEase comments a rubbish field, which I don’t want to spend my time digging. Personally I trend to think NetEase commenters are people who make much less money than white collar, through the angry and aiti-establishment comments they express their dissatisfaction of being a lower rank in society.

          Based on your view you think China’s middle-class or any other class generally want “liberal”, that’s also wrong. They are living a better and better live under the rule of government, and they know it well. Of course they will complaint about government, CCP, corruption, high commodity price and so on, but that does not mean most Chinese “had enough” and want to rebel. Not every Chinese want so called”democracy” and “liberal”, they want a rich and stable life.

          • Kai

            Yes, there’s a correlation between anonymity and low-quality comments, but 1) non-anonymity on Weibo also has a chilling effect, 2) it isn’t impossible to make fake accounts on Weibo, and 3) there’s a whole lot of low-quality comments on Weibo too. There’s more correlation between low quality and size of community than there is between low quality and anonymity.

            There are ways to criticize the community of every mainstream portal. Do you think QQ or Sohu is better? Phoenix Online?

            NetEase has its diaosi contingent just like every other community. Anyone who regularly comments with a negative attitude can be suspected of insecurity stemming from being “a lower rank in society”. I don’t think that’s unique to NetEase. Of the major Chinese internet portals, I’m pretty sure NetEase has more urban, middle class users than the others, especially Tencent/QQ.

            Don’t misunderstand my use of “liberal” as meaning they want to overthrow the government. “Liberal” refers to certain values concerning civil rights and cosmopolitanism. I don’t think “liberal” = “rebel”. I feel the NetEase community is generally better educated and has more liberal values than certain other popular Chinese portals. I’m not saying the Chinese middle-class necessarily wants democracy.

          • firebert5

            Wait a minute, weren’t there regulations passed not long ago that were supposed to allow comments only if information was given (i.e. no more anonymity)? Or am I confusing this situation with something else? It would not be the first time I feel like I recall hearing about something, apply it to this situation, and then find out I had everything all wrong! :-)

          • David

            Are you referring to the law regarding spreading rumors that the Chinese government don’t like? Because you are only anonymizes from other posters, the government still knows who you are.

          • firebert5

            That might be it.

          • tcl334

            It is true that in every web comunity people commenting negatively, but NetEase sure is unique. I am just giving you guys some basic info when you try to understand China from Chinasmack. Believing in NetEase comments too much only drift you away from the actual situation.

            QQ news and weibo comments are better, usually you found much more reasonable comments in QQ news and Weibo then in NetEase.

            Unlike Weibo and qq News, NetEase allow full Anonymity, you can comment as you want, no need an account, no need a nickname. In weibo many users have their close friends following them.

            ChinaSmack only pick a few top upvoted comments, (and I feel Chinasmack put some efforts in picking valuable comments from NetEase), but on the original site, it is pages full of complaints and uncouth comments which is really brothering, 900 among 1000 comments are rubbish like, some positive or pro-gov comments will be downvote and replied with personal abuse.

            I don’t know who are the actual commenters of NetEase, but when you try to explain this phenomenon you say that’s the dissatisfied peope commenting…

            Many people say on NetEase I just read the news do not dare to read the comments. It is called “pig farm” for a reason.

            It seems on ChinaSmack chinese netizens reactions are the point but in the view of Chinese netizens, news and reasonable discussions are the main part.

            Funny fact: on
            NetEase news related to HK protest or big gov leaders have the comments controlled,
            only pro-gov comments can survive.

          • Kai

            I’ve seen pro- and anti-government comments on all major portal sites, as well as obvious comment manipulation (wumao, vote padding, water army, etc.). I don’t think the proportion of rubbish vs. non-rubbish comments is frankly much better on QQ News or other portal sites compared to NetEase. I’ve seen plenty of positive and pro-gov comments on NetEase as well (we’ve translated a lot of them). I’ve seen the comments on sensitive topics controlled on all the major portal sites as well. It isn’t just NetEase.

            As I said, I personally think NetEase has historically skewed more liberal and anti-establishment. Nationalistic voices are more dominant on other portal sites, even if we factor out fake comments by “wumao”. I also think the NetEase community is a lot more anti-wumao than the other portal sites, often to the point of being irrational. I see less resistence and skepticism on the other sites, and that’s not because there aren’t wumao there, but because they have more dominance and control.

            For example, articles about certain topics seem to get more attention on NetEase than QQ News. If you compare the same article on both sites, one will have a lot more discussion on NetEase than on QQ. Sometimes–not always–it becomes evident that the comments on the QQ article have been sanitized (deleted). This also happens on NetEase as well, but I think there are different tolerance levels.

            More often than not, it boils down to a “pick your poison” situation.

            If you’d like to see us translate more comments from QQ News, please feel free to contact us and send us tips (links to trending, popular articles on QQ News). As long as they’re legitimately trending/popular, we’ll be happy to look into them and consider translating them. Cheers!

        • Xio Gen

          So NetEase is like 4chan?

          • Kai

            LoL, no, not even close. NetEase and all the portal sites are more like Yahoo or HuffPo, very mainstream stuff. 4chan is very extreme subculture.

    • jon9521

      These institutes are attempting to promote Chinese communist ideology. As such the west should by all means debate with their representatives but should not expose students to the propaganda.

      • Zappa Frank

        nothing like that. they just try to increase the soft power of china, try to make china seems not so scary in westerns eyes. we may say that to some extent they get a result.

  • AbC

    Isn’t it a bit of an overreaction? It’s simply two US universities who entered into a 5 year contract in 2010 to decide not to renew the contract? (They just happen to announce it within a week of each other).

    • wes707
    • ClausRasmussen

      I have a hard time understanding what the fuzz is about? The institute deal mainly with non-political language teaching, they probably portray China in a positive way, but what else would you expect from a Chinese financed institution

      Students are supposed to look through the this, just as they hopefully are able to look through all the crap they’re being told in liberal arts. If not, a better solution would be to raise the bar of entry to get some less gullible students

      • lacompacida

        Mostly because the institute forbid talking about subjects it is not comfortable with in its courses.

        • ClausRasmussen

          >> forbid talking about subjects it is not comfortable with

          So what ?

          • Sophia Dalke

            They also discriminated against Falun Gong/Dafa practitioners in their hiring practices, and Western institutions take a dim view of religious discrimination.

          • Xia

            Why should they hire Falun Gong/Dafa practioners? It’s a Confucius Institute, not a Falun Gong religious institution. Would a church hire a buddhist preacher?

          • Dr Sun

            I dont know, ask yourself this why would the Triads, the Russian mafia, NY brokers and the Catholic Church all be in business together, must be some reason, power, influence $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

          • Sophia Dalke

            Somebody’s religion should have nothing to do with their job. If a language teacher happens to follow x religion that should not mean anything to whether they are hired as a language teacher.

          • Xia

            Are the values of Falun Gong compatible with Confucian values, ever thought about it?

          • Dr Sun

            you realize of course Confucianism is not a religion ?

          • Xia

            But does Confucianism endorse religion?

          • firebert5

            Tell that to most Religious Studies classes in universities.

          • Dr Sun

            Catholic, Muslim, Protestant schools, colleges and Universities in the UK, USA don’t thought.

          • Sophia Dalke

            Religious schools usually don’t require that every member of staff follow the specific religion.

          • Dr Sun

            i guess you missed the news from the last few years in the Uk as how “schools” got rid of the teachers not sharing their Religion.

            btw the “every” gives it all away.

          • mr.wiener

            Still, if someone is using classes as a cover to do missionary work I’d have no problem with kicking their ardes out of there.

          • Confucius

            ….. except if they are Muslim? or atheist? or … well, hell, any other religion than in God we trust?

          • Dr Sun

            You would be happy and well rewarded ESL teacher in China or N.Korea Claus, not sure if the students would think much of you as they’re over the firewall already.

    • Don’t Believe the Hype

      Ya but why would 2 universities discontinue the contract? It doesn’t sound very random

      • Dr Sun

        I think you know the answer already

      • SongYii

        The article mentions the American Association of University Professors, so apparently there is something of a movement. Its not a coincidence.

  • Amused

    When I’m “hiding behind an outward display of strength” with my weakness, I enjoy reading me some Confucius. Wait, he is the one who wrote that freaky sex manual, right????

    • Alex Dương

      No, that was the Indians.

      • Amused

        I thought they were too busy fighting cowboys to write much down…

        • Alex Dương

          That’s what they wanted you to think.

          • Amused

            The whole time we thought they were waging a hit-n-run guerrilla war and secretly they were amassing dangerous knowledge of tantric love. Those sneaky bastards.

      • lacompacida

        So you haven’t read the really good stuff ?

  • proud to attend a confucius institute. Their courses are great

    • lacompacida

      So you learned that you should obey your husband now, and your son when your husband passes.

      • No. They teach us that past is past and society evolves.

        • lacompacida

          Ah, so you haven’t got to the meat of it yet.

          • most of the teachers are locals, so they criticize everything they don’t agree with, in a polite or ironic way of course

          • Dr Sun

            Your first post said this

            “They teach us that past is past and society evolves.”

            which I challenged, as it not not what Confucius wrote, said or implied. I find it hard to believe a so called “Confucius Institute would be calling him out, or as as a student (I assume paying money to be there) would say that you cant take him seriously.

            It poses the question, still unanswered as a student there, why would you completely get his philosophy wrong,continue to go there and then say you don’t take him at all seriously anyway ?

            btw I don’t like his metaphysical philosophy( or any metaphysical philosophy for that matter, I’m a sophist/ empiricist)
            I believe Confucius philosophy has caused great harm in China.

          • I don’t go there because I like the name of the Institute. I go there to learn about different history, points of view, culture, turism, language, art….And I said ‘don’t take too serious’ referring that I don’t believe in Holy words. They don’t indoctrinate me there.

          • Xia

            The real question is if there really would be “China” today without Confucian philosophy. The 7 countries of the Spring and Autumn period wouldn’t be fused into one unified country but rather break into 14 countries just like what happened in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

          • Dr Sun

            would it really matter, has there ever been a Chinese nation ?

            Is a country defined by a/the dictatorship that enforces it, by geographical size or by its people ?

            China as we know it today is fragmented and ready to split apart, the CPC is trying it’s best to be gangster boss in charge, but I think few see a long term future for the CPC.

          • Xia

            China has been China for thousands of years and continues to be so, with or without CPC it does not matter, China will still be China. Your personal opinion does not have any power to change this fact or any significance to China’s future.

          • David

            The water has been drunk deep by this one.

          • Xia

            You drink your water. I prefer my cup of tea to your water anytime.

          • David

            Fair enouhg, I like my water clean and transparent.

          • Xia

            I like my tea warm and bittersweet.

          • da_shan223

            America and the major countries of Europe exist today from both progressive and grossly inhumane acts. Ethnocentric tunnel vision will lead one to choose the inhumane acts solely and say those acts were due to a particular ideology. Show me a single major economic player who has anything close to a clean closet.

          • Zappa Frank

            so you think 7 countries united because of the Confucius philosophy? pretty impressive

          • Xia

            Amongst other things, a common Confucian culture that builds to stabilize a central government controlling a vast territory. Without Confucian philosophy, there would be much more infightings between warlords and less common ground for reunification.

          • Zappa Frank

            reunification? maybe you mean ‘unification’ since Confucian philosophy predate china… isn’t it? Seems to me a pretty good tool for rulers and conquers, you are right on that..

          • Xia

            Reunification, look at how many times “China” broke into several parts that were ruled as separate countries and later unified together under one dynasty again.

            Were it in Europe, they would have stayed separate countries till today. But under a common Confucian culture, all Chinese rulers thrive to be the one true emperor of China.

          • Zappa Frank

            sincerely I’m not sure the comparison between Europe and China fits.. Europe has never been united under an empire. Romans were close, but that would included north Africa, and middle east…and it did not stand for long. Carlo Magno was close too, but it stand only for his reign. I’m not really that sure Confucianism to be so significant in to keep China united and seems to me that sometimes the ‘unity’ of china is a bit of mythological and not really since you talk about china even before its very existence.

          • Xia

            Europe holds a part of the legacy of the Roman Empire, which has been united for a couple centuries.
            Europe was more or less “unified” under the Carolingian Empire, with Charlemagne being a figure similar to China’s Qin Shi Huang. But unlike China under Qin, Europe did not achieve cultural unification (language, units, currency, values) under Charlemagne’s rule, nor had it a centralized government or a capital as the Empire’s power center. The consequence is that after Charlemagne’s demise the Carolingian Empire soon broke into the bits and pieces that would become the European countries today.

            China’s “unity” is not a constant, since China broke into bits and pieces many times since her earliest history. After the Spring and Autumn period, where Chinese culture had its bloom in diversity, Confucianism with some elements of other Chinese philosophies mixed in become the single dominant Chinese philosophy. Since then, the Chinese culture more or less had a homogenous continuity and did not break apart in any major schism. Consequently, a common culture was the cohesive that kept China together when it was de facto being several countries under different rulers. This “cultural unity” is what enables China to reunify into one country again. Without a cultural unification, China today would be consisting of many smaller states all having their own cultures just like the European countries.

            Confucianism just happens to be the bulwark of the Chinese culture that kept China’s national identity intact even after many splits and reunifications and several passings and comings of dynasties.

          • Zappa Frank

            Well to tell the truth the roman empire (that was not the whole Europe, but most) was something different, just figure about who was citizen and who was not…Carolingian Empire did not survive his death. To me doesn’t seem so similar.
            About Chinese I have some doubts about what you say. Language is different in many places and not mutually understandable and it was until the decision of using the mandarin, there writing was the same, but how many people were able to write, and the same write was used also in korea and japan..
            Seems to me that the story of the common culture, long history, 5000 years of Chinese nation and so on.. while the differences among provinces are sometimes even greater than the differences among many Europeans countries, are more something you learn in school for the porpoise of keeping china unite (noble porpoise indeed), but it doesn’t not seem so simple and clear as you say to me. Of course, just my impression…

          • Xia

            Of course Europe and China are different: Europe consists of many countries while China is one country. My point is that the situation in Europe and China is different exactly because China has a unified culture under Confucianism amongst other things like a common language, while Europe has not.

            After the unification process of language during the Qin Dynasty, Chinese people spoke and wrote one language that has many accents and dialects, even though there were several different languages before during the Warring States period. To counter the issues of dialect is why there has always been one Mandarin Chinese, the one dialect that was spoken in the bureaucracy (Mandarin meaning bureaucrats). It may not be the northern Beijing dialect like it is today, but Mandarin Chinese in previous dynasties have always served the same function.

            It’s not just an impression… How much do you know about the Chinese history, in particular the Chinese dynastic history? Have you ever seen the timeline of Chinese dynasties? Dynasties come and go, China splits and reunites. The relationship between Chinese provinces today is similar to the ones in the past, yet these provinces did not split into separate nation states. Governments come and go, some are weak and some are strong, yet China is still China. So what do you think kept China from splintering into many smaller states all these years other than a common Chinese culture?

          • David

            One big flaw in your theory. I think you are ignoring a small thing that unified all of Europe for almost a thousand years, Christianity. I think it was at least unified in that sense as ancient China ever was. But it did not last.

            I also think you are acting like there was a bottom up unification of China based on Confusus when the reality was a top down oppression of conquered people forced into a system that was based on (certain parts) of Confucian philosophy.

          • Xia

            The bottom up effect is that Chinese people strive and support unification. It’s very much in the culture and common belief that the true ruler of China must be ruling all of what is historically considered “China proper” or else his reign will not last.

            Christianity may be a unifying force during the time of the crusades, when the pope has the authority to mobilize European kings. But before that period, Christianity saw many rivaling cultures like classical Greco-Roman culture, Celtic culture, Nordic culture or Germanic culture. And yes, Christianity does not provide a basis for unification, since its core dogma is not political but spiritual. In later times, Christianity itself was also splintered into many sub-groups or denominations, with some countries even having their own national church (e.g. Church of England).

          • Confucius

            David, I have no idea what you are talking about, David. Europe was never “unified … for almost a thousand years” and certainly Christianity did not unify anything or anyone – in fact, Christianity broke into many different factions and some of them actively warred with others.

            Chinese history has never had a single political description for you to make a sweeping comment like

            “I also think you are acting like there was a bottom up unification of China based on Confusus when the reality was a top down oppression of conquered people forced into a system that was based on (certain parts) of Confucian philosophy”

            There were periods where the geographical China were ruled by external groups with active oppression of the existing inhabitants (who were by majority Han but by no means on average Han), and other times when the rulers were ethnically Han and oppressed the people, Han or otherwise. In terms of foreign policy, most Chinese dynasties adopted a tributary system rather than active invasion/conquest/oppression, and certainly none of that is “oppression … based on (certain parts) of Confucian philosophy”.

            You have some very wrong and illogical ideas. If you take the time to learn about the things you talk about, there’ll be more chance for you to bring someone else to your point of view.

          • Confucius

            There were a lot of different philosophies at that time – it was arguably the most culturally productive period in Chinese history – any one of those philosophies could have been adopted to control the masses, just like religions around the world were used to control their population. And don’t make the mistake of assuming we are somehow enlightened – our modern world is no different to theirs and are still controlled with adopted religions and ideologies, we just don’t have the retroscope yet. Legalism was in favour for a while and could well have been adopted instead of Confucianism. The reason why China is China today isn’t because of Confucius, it’s because Qin Shi Huang went around, massacred all the opposition and burned all the dissenting books (and books in general to dumb down the population), and imposed a single language and system (including currency, infrastructure etc) 2000 years ago.

          • Xia

            The irony is that Qin Shi Huang was anti Confucius, burning Confucian classics and massacring Confucian scholars. Nevertheless Confucianism became the dominant philosophy of Chinese dynasties, because it helped to pacify the masses and kept a huge country intact and running.

          • Xia

            The irony is that Qin Shi Huang was totally anti Confucian, burning Confucian classics and massacring Confucian scholars. His legalistic rule was cruel, so his dynastic reign was short. Confucian philosophy became the dominant Chinese philosophy ever since, as it helped to pacify the masses and keep a central power intact and running, much contributing to the stability and long duration of many dynasties following Qin.

          • Xia

            I personally have a higher opinion on Mohism in contrast to Confucianism, Mohism is way more practical and oriented to common folk rather than an aristocratic elite.

          • David

            Do you think that would be a bad thing? I can’t believe I am sitting here agree so much with Dr. Sun (who does not even like me) lol

          • Xia

            You are not a Chinese, you wouldn’t understand. It does not even really matter to you. But tell me, would you prefer the US today to consist of 51 separate sovereign countries rather than the one nation that she is now?

          • David

            The people who live in the United States (with a very small percent disagreeing) have voted each state into the Union. While the actual land was sometimes taken by force (other times bought from other countries) the political units that were territories had to vote to join the Union and then Congress had to vote to let them in. Even today with the dissidents we have (of course we have them) very few would actually vote to leave the Union. So most people spend their energy on making the country better instead of trying to leave. China has large chucks of land that were not historically part of China. Also, “you are not Chinese, so you can’t understand” is not an argument that withstands even slight scrutiny. I have plenty of Chinese friends who are educated outside of China and when they return they feel the same about the use of Confucian philosophy to control the average Chinese citizen.

          • Xia

            I am also educated outside of China, but I don’t equate CCP with China. Holding national integrity goes way beyond what party constitutes the government.

            I don’t believe in “Confucianism”. My impression is that a lot of Chinese today are utilitarians, so they would never believe in Confucius the way e.g. Christians believe in Jesus. “Confucianism” is a tool, has always been and probably always will. But a tool may be very useful to fix problems. Of course, no one would rely on one tool only but apply a variety of tools.

            “You are not Chinese, so you don’t understand” is my response to remarks like “would it really matter, has there ever been a Chinese nation ?”. Obviously it would not really matter for all those who are not Chinese, but it does matter a lot for Chinese people.

            Back to the US, the question is not who will vote to leave the Union, BUT what will happen to them if some states do choose to leave. Does the American Civil War ring a bell?

          • Amused

            Dr Sun bringing the HEAT!

          • Kai

            Holy crap, dude, you do understand that the “Confucius” in “Confucius Institute” is just branding, right? It’s marketing, he’s like a fucking mascot. They don’t actually focus on teaching Confucian philosophy or ideology in the program.

            They honestly might’ve done better calling it “Panda Institute”.

          • Confucius

            Thank you, Kai. Again, a voice of reason and knowledge. This thread is just madness, I don’t know even know where to start rebutting all the ignorant negative comments here. They could at least just do the usual thing and abuse the CCP for sending out their brainwashing corrupt money and transmitting discivilisation throughout the world.

        • Dr Sun

          Where in Confucius writing is that ?

          He says the complete opposite, it is fixed and unchangeable, right from your place within the family (filial piety) to your total and unquestionable obedience to your emperor/ government, not just for you but for ever, your children , grandchildren etc..etc, as its both natural and therefore works .

          It’s really not that different to the writings of ;

          James Burke “Vindication of Natural Society” (1756)

          Machiavelli “The Prince” (1532)

          Thomas Aquinas “On Being and Essence” (1252)

          • Not Confucius, I meant the institution. Of course you can’t take ancient ‘wisemen’ too serious, they were conditioned by their space and time.

          • Dr Sun

            so you just go there to practice yoga or something ?

          • Yes. Yoga,it’s so chinese.

          • Alex Dương

            Gotta do that 太極.

          • Dr Sun

            So your going there for the “conditioning”

            Just kind of wondering why you go to the CONFUCIUS Institute when in your very own words you believe “you can’t take ancient ‘wisemen’ too serious”

            That would be like going to say a Catholic seminary believing you cant take Jesus, St. Peter or the bible seriously.

          • studying philosophers does not mean you have to agree with them. I respect -some- of their way of thinking. But I can’t take all.

          • I do prefer Lao zi over Confucius

          • Dr Sun

            Big difference between Taoism and Confucianism, huge, massive really, except for the metaphysical “natural” bit thing he stole.

            Of course you realize that the vast majority of “Heros” that fought against the Confucius stampede where Diaists and Taoists ?

          • Sophia Dalke

            The Prince wasn’t really in the same class, since a) Machiavelli was personally preferential to republics b) he was writing specifically to try to establish patronage. The book bordered on tongue-in-cheek at times with the way it approached ruthlessness. Aquinas, Burke and Master Kong all believed mind, body and soul in what they were writing. Machiavelli was a mercenary scholar for sale writing as best he could for an audience of autocrats.

          • Dr Sun

            I have to disagree look at Confucius own motives for writing what he did, didn’t quiet work out for him, but it sure did for his “disciples”..

          • Confucius

            What are you talking about? What did Confucius write??

          • NicolasBourbaki

            Jesus, you are one humongous bs artist.

            “He says the complete opposite, it is fixed and unchangeable, right from your place within the family (filial piety) to your total and unquestionable obedience to your emperor/”

            You’re a liar. No where did Confucius say this. No where did he say that you should have complete obedience to your parents or to your emperor. On the other hand, there are many instances he says that a good son must criticize his parents when they are wrong and that a good citizen or minister must criticize the emperor when he is wrong and a good student must criticize his teacher when the teacher is wrong. See Analects 14:22 where he says to Zilu when asked how one can serve his lord properly, “Let there be no duplicity when taking a stand against him.” , Also see Analects 13:15, 15:36 for similar passages of taking a firm stance against emperors, teachers and parents and criticizing them. Also see these passages where Confucius warns against mindless conformity. Analects 3:18, 13:23, 13:24, and 15:28.

            And it’s ironic that you contrast Confucius with the likes of The Prince where Machiavelli says that The Prince must always rule through inducing absolute fear from his subjects. How ironic and backwards the benighted.

          • Confucius

            I think you are the only one on this forum who has actually read the Analects and understand the context of what he said. Dr Sun in particular is infuriating on this thread … at least the other negative comments aren’t pretending to know what they’re criticising. I think I said once a long time ago … knowing what you know and what you don’t know is real understanding … hopefully Dr Sun will come to understand this some day

          • mr.wiener

            But has it made him a nicer person?

          • Confucius

            Why do you insist on putting words in my mouth and attacking me without even understanding what I said? My memory must be failing me after 2000 years … why don’t you quote back to me where exactly in the Analects that I said,

            “it is fixed and unchangeable, right from your place within the family (filial piety) to your total and unquestionable obedience to your emperor/ government, not just for you but for ever, your children , grandchildren etc..etc, as its both natural and therefore works .”

  • elizabeth

    Could be a tacit message to China, since the Americans were told to mind their own business just a few days ago.

  • Insomnicide

    It’s expected. Americans themselves have not much to learn from Confucius. Or many western nations in general. The most popular Chinese philosopher in the world is not Confucius, but Sun Tzu. The western nations created vast colonial empires while China closed it’s gates under the guise of Confucianism. Napoleon conquered Europe using Sun Tzu’s strategies while China became the weak man of East Asia.

    There are many ways to promote Chinese culture, the Confucius Institute is not good way.

    • Confucius

      While I agree with most of what you’ve said, I think it should be clarified that Sun Tzu wasn’t a philosopher (although the treatise may be adopted as a philosophy) and it’s disputed whether he actually wrote the Art of War. The problem with the West not learning from Confucius is the negativity associated with the Chinese – if he were European he would be considered to be at the same level as Plato and Socrates. Some of his teachings are similar to Buddhist and Christian thought. I’m waiting eagerly for the Colombusing moment when the West discovers Confucius and adopts him for their own.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Learning from Confucius now in 2014 is like learning to dig a big hole with your hands while leaving the excavator machines alone.

    • Confucius

      Well, you don’t have to take my class if you don’t want to, ol’ chap. Your loss.

      • David

        I certainly think it is important to understand Confucius and to understand how his teachings were used by two thousand years of different dynasties ruling China. To try and understand Chinese history or even current sociological phenomenon without understanding Confucius is learning with one brain cell tied behind your back. As with say, Socrates or Plato, when applied to the development of western civilization. Today looking back you can take what you like from the ideas leave the rest because we are allowed to have our own opinions and question what we do not agree with.

        • Confucius

          To some extent I agree with you, but Confucian values are only a small part of what shaped Chinese civilisation. It’s probably a little over-reach to suggest that Confucianism was used for the full 2500 years, and other significant influences include Taoism and Buddhism.

          • Xio Gen

            Except Confucianism isn’t a religion like Taoism and Buddhism. It’s a philosophy.

    • Xio Gen

      Learning about Confucius in 2014 is like learning about Socrates in 2014. Both are old and provide a historical background for the founding of Eastern and Western schools of philosophy, respectively.

  • Zappa Frank

    Not clear to me..Despite the name, as far as I’ve seen Confucius institutes just teach some Chinese language (usually just good for beginners) and a little (really a little) of Chinese culture that barely exist in everyday life of Chinese people (calligraphy, tea ceremony, some movies, some singers and so on…). This is what happen in Confucius institutes in Italy. I may say are useless, but I don’t seen any harm. In case I’ve noticed that some problems can come from the teachers and volunteers that worked there for one or two years and at the moment to come back home are not exactly that happy…they experience freedom from parents control and society judgment for the first time in many cases..and a lot of them like it.

  • Rick in China

    *Sigh* first to address the many commenters who seem to think “The Confucius Institute” teaches *Confucious*, no, it’s not HIS institute, it’s simply a propaganda tool for the PRC to shovel its horseshit abroad. There is no relationship between the institute and the man himself, although I’m certain they leverage whatever cherry picked or already-manipulated bits of Confucius they can to assist with their marketing material.

    Second, “Their main reason is that Confucius Institutes are funded by the Office of Chinese Language Council International under China’s Ministry of Education, and therefore believe Confucius Institutes are a branch of Chinese Communist Party propaganda, with the goal of spreading Chinese Communist Party ideology, and therefore violates academic freedom.”

    *BINGO* They totally just let the cat out of the bag, I’m not sure why they would even include that here, more like The Confuseus Institute.

    Third, “that the spread of Chinese culture has never sought the extinguishing of other cultures as a goal.”

    I don’t think that they understand, nobody is afraid of CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING, they’re just concerned with being used as the tools to propagate falsehoods and lies from foreign powers..they have enough falsehoods and lies in their own system already.

  • Foreign Devil

    Canada is also votIng to end association with the Confucius institute. Never should have let such Chinese propaganda infiltrate the schools in the first place. However our weak kneed prime minister hasn’t come out to support the protest in HK and has decided to follow USA as they create more chaos and terrorism in the middle east..like the yes man country we are.

    • Confucius

      Free speech? No free speech? Or is it double-standard time again?

      • Charles

        This has nothing to do with free speech.

        • Confucius

          Huh? So, a group wants to have their say about what they think (you know, “free speech”??) and have their own money to pay for it (you know, good old capitalism at work?). Meanwhile, another group wants to shut this former group down because “Never should have let such Chinese propaganda infiltrate the schools”. So do you support the group that wants to be able to say what they want to say (even though you don’t agree with what they say), or do you support the group that wants to restrict the ability to say what one wants to say (because in your view it is propaganda)?

          • Charles

            There is a difference between having a voice and having the backing of an institution. The science department would be offering classes on intelligent design. KKK leaders wouldn’t be teaching classes on civil rights. No one is restricting anyone’s right to say what they want to say.

  • Guang Xiang

    Just the name of the institute sounds embarassing

  • NicolasBourbaki

    According to these two studies, there is no evidence that the CIs have included ideological material in their curriculum. I think this looks like a kind of McCarthyism.

    http://thediplomat.com/2011/03/confucius-controversy/

    http://chronicle.texterity.com/chronicle/20101022a?pg=8#pg8

    I think the daily show also did a funny episode satirizing the controversy. It looks like irrational xenophobia.

    http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/kir3p5/socialism-studies

    • Confucius

      You can’t have the brainwashed US/Western population suddenly getting access to Chinese propaganda. They might just be open-minded enough to realise they’ve been conned into a faux antagonism against 1.3 billion people.

      • David

        Being antagonistic toward a government is not the same as disliking the people. It is natural to dislike a government that you think is treating the people you like, badly

        • Xia

          What if the people you like does not think that you are right or that their government is as bad. Do you wish to force the people you like to think the same as you? Or would you dislike the people that likes a government you don’t like?

          • David

            I have friends that are pro CCP. Not a single one of them thinks the CCP is good for the country or people. They are successful people who know how to play the system and have made money doing it. As with many other successful people they send their kids to university overseas. Now, I am sure there are people who think the CCP are doing a great job (for instance you sound like you do). I have no problem with them having a different opinion than me. Political affiliation is not my first criterion for a friend (I am a conservative American but I have friends who are far far left). I care much more if they are honest, open minded and kind.

          • Xia

            CCP is not doing a great job in many things, but they are not doing a bad job in many things either. The reality is not a black and white story of the good Democrats in the West and evil Communists in the East, even though Americans do tend to think so due to the legacy of the Cold War.

            The CCP is a also a reality that needs to be death with. My view is a bit taoistic in this regard. What is running must have its goods or it won’t be running. When the bad outweighs the good in due time, they will become history just like how previous dynasties did.

      • Charles

        You really need to wake up of you think Chinese propaganda has anything to do with 1.3 billion Chinese people. Also, you really need to get to understand America a bit better if you think that most Americans are antagonistic towards China.

    • Charles

      You make absurd accusations without any evidence. BTW, neither of these articles are “studies.” It’s easy to “prove” your point when you refer to the opinions of people who agree with you. However, what we really need to see here is the opinion of the people who are opposing these institutes. Why, specifically, did these two schools choose to close them down? Until we know that, we are all just talking out of our…

      • NicolasBourbaki

        So you don’t have any evidence that they are spewing Chinese propaganada?

  • OfficerDarrenWilson

    It’s kind of funny because the CCP tried to destroy Confucianism at one stage during the cultural revolution.

    It’s kind of twisted irony here.

    • hang

      They were the new power back then, now they’re the established elite. Confucianism suits their needs now.

    • Insomnicide

      Outside of China? Perhaps. But within China there’s still a void in culture and morals where Confucianism used to be.

  • FYIADragoon

    The teachers at Confucius Institutes, in the USA at least, are basically Chinese living the ESL life in America. No real training and they don’t do anything with themselves until they eventually get shipped back. They just enjoy the ride.

  • Zebadee

    These Confucian Institutes export retardedness (is that a real word?) to the rest of the world. I’m actually surprised it took so long to shut these places down and support the US universities for doing so. There’s too much retardedness in Chinese education as it is without adding to it.

    • Kai

      Yep, it’s a real world. You’re all good. Alternatively, you could’ve used “retardation”.

  • Charles

    Thanks for this – absolutely hysterical!

    “The article believes America’s attitude towards the Confucius
    Institute also demonstrates its ignorance of Chinese culture. One of the
    essences of Chinese culture is “harmony in diversity”, that the spread
    of Chinese culture has never sought the extinguishing of other cultures
    as a goal.”

    Wow, what a moron. The stupidity demonstrated here is epic! It would seem redundant to elaborate on this. It really speaks for itself.

  • Charles

    It is really time that people “grew up” and stopped talking about “Chinese culture” as if it were some unitary real thing that can be transmitted. The very idea that the Chinese culture of today could be associated with the culture of Confucius is completely absurd.

    There is no such thing as Chinese culture – in the sense that this term is usually used.

    Didn’t we all learn this in college?

  • 山炮 ShanPao

    Can anyone provide a link as to why this is trending?

  • wgh999

    Confucius or Confucianism is purely symbolic. Majority of Chinese nowadays are LVism or BMWism or I-don’t-care-about-anyone-ism. Also politically China isn’t a Confucian country anymore and these institutes are used by the communist party merely as tools. So even as a Chinese, close them!!

  • Yup

    The Confucius Institute here in the UAE is actually quite good. They offer quality Chinese language education and exposure to Chinese culture. If there’s any communist propaganda it’s well-disguised. As for the idea that Chinese culture wanting to extinguish other cultures… No traditionally it has not. However, the Chinese government is not acting in the traditions of the Chinese government as you can see with their actions in Tibet. In that case there is an absolute effort to replace all that is Tibetan with the Chinese standard.

    • Kai

      That’s not accurate. The Chinese government isn’t trying to extinguish Tibetan culture, they’re trying to extinguish separatism in Tibet and integrate Tibetans into Chinese society. Why? Because if you’re integrated into a culture, it reduces your motivation to disassociate and want to secede. It’s more or less a policy of cultural assimilation, and there are countless examples of it working around the world. The Chinese government doesn’t want Tibetans to give up self-identifying as Tibetan, they just want Tibetans to see themselves as also being Chinese.

  • Guest

    China smack is a stupid American propaganda piece. Garbage….

    • Confucius

      I very much doubt chinasmack is American propaganda.

  • Norm

    Just to add another element to the conversation: Confucian Institutes offer scholarships for students to study in China, even up to a Masters level. Anyone ages 16 to 35 is welcome to apply–age 45 if you plan to teach Chinese. It’s an amazing deal for traditional students, but not so much for nontraditional students into Confucian values of lifelong learning and education for all, etc. But from a return on investment perspective, the age cut-off makes sense. Ironic. I even heard of a 50 year old professor who was too old to apply for a research stipend.

  • Xio Gen

    I just looked up Mozi and that guy is right. Mozi would be proud. The guy was pretty progressive for the time. He’s like the opposite of Confucius: totally against traditionalism for the sake of tradition. I can see Zhuangzi being happy as an anarchist and moral relativist. I’d imagine they’d be viewed negatively by the Heavenly Kingdom. But Han Fei was a legalist. Why would this action to close the Confucius Institute please him?

  • Karze

    Confucius Institute is used as government propaganda tools and functions like a party apparatus. Beijing think that with $$$ you can do anything.

    The Confucius Institutes used force and intimidation tactics to toe in party line and censored or interfered in the activities of other schools affiliated to university and institute to it.

    Education institute and University in democratic countries of wide academic freedom while Confucius Institute is trying to rob this freedom and propagate censorship and party propaganda work.

    The complaints were made by the Chinese who were employed in the Confucius Institute who felt they were living in China even though they were outside of China.

  • kingObing

    China, a country with a “glorious” 5,000 year history that people refuse to learn from, and home to Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism that people refuse to consider.

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