A Chinese program offered at the University of South Carolina is creating some controversy.
The Chinese government-run program called The Confucius Institute teaches language classes and hosts cultural events at USC. However, The State newspaper reports it has also drawn concern from the FBI and lawmakers.
The program is being scrutinized for teaching what opponents insist is a biased narrative of China and allows a foreign government the right to have a say on material.
The institute was established in 2008 by USC and the Beijing Language and Culture University. The agreement creating the institute puts an individual at the government-run Beijing school charged with the responsibility of establishing the curriculum and allows an agency of the Chinese government to offer course materials. Fewer than 100 students are currently enrolled in classes taught by a Confucius professor, according to a school spokesman.
According to the agreement, the program’s budget must be approved by an agency of the Chinese government.
The spokesman told the newspaper that the school has complete control over the content of the classes.