Last semester, the University discussed the possibility of creating a Penn branch of the Confucius Institute– think of it as Epcot’s China Pavilion but in West Philadelphia– through its Center for East Asian Studies, having previously rejected the proposal back in 2009. The Confucius Institute has been growing in power and popularity for the cultural education and cold, hard CA$H it provides, with outposts at Stanford, Columbia, and the London School of Economics, as the Times reports.
Penn, however, said no to the Confucius Institute. For the second time. As international relations professor Arthur Waldron points out, “Once you have a Confucius Institute on campus, you have a second source of opinions and authority that is ultimately answerable to the Chinese Communist Party and which is not subject to scholarly review.” Hear, hear! Sounds like as good reason as any for the CEAS’s unanimous opposition the Confucius Institute.