An organization with close ties to the government of the People’s Republic of China, eager to play a role in American higher education, recently offered to generously fund a position at Stanford University. And then things got complicated.
According to an article by Daniel Golden at Bloomberg News:
China is expanding its presence on U.S. campuses, seeking to promote its culture and history and meet a growing global demand to learn its language. Hanban, a government-affiliated group under the Chinese education ministry, has spent at least $500 million since 2004 establishing 350 Confucius Institutes worldwide and about 75 in the U.S., four times the number in any other country.
When [the] Beijing organization… offered Stanford University $4 million to host a Confucius Institute on Chinese language and culture and endow a professorship, it attached one caveat: The professor couldn’t discuss delicate issues like Tibet.
Stanford apparently refused the offer. The money will instead go to fund a professorship in classical Chinese poetry, which has no (immediate) political implications.