(ECNS)--China's Foreign Ministry on Friday expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the United States' request to register Confucius Institute U.S. Center as "a foreign mission" in a daily press conference.
The remarks of FM spokesperson Zhao Lijian ran as follows.
Reuters: The United States said on August 13 it was requiring the Confucius Institute U.S. Center to register as a foreign mission. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement said the CIUS was an entity advancing Beijing's political propaganda. What's the ministry's comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: The Confucius Institute U.S. Center (CIUS Center) has issued a statement in response. I want to stress that the U.S. move is demonizing and stigmatizing the normal operation of a cooperation project between China and the U.S.. We deplore and firmly oppose that.
The Confucius Institutes have long served as a bridge and bond between China and other countries in education and cultural communication and exchange, which enables people in other countries to learn the Chinese language and understand China. All the Confucius Institutes in the U.S. are jointly established in American universities based on their voluntary application and in line with the principle of mutual respect, friendly consultation, equality and mutual benefit by the Chinese and American universities. The operation and management of the Confucius Institutes is open and transparent in strict compliance with local law and regulations of these universities. Their contributions to the cultural and people-to-people exchange between China and the U.S. have been widely applauded by the universities and others in the U.S..
I must point out that for some time certain people in the U.S., driven by ideological prejudice and selfish gains, have been grossly and unscrupulously disrupting and obstructing China-U.S. cooperation projects, including the operation of the Confucius Institutes. This is just unacceptable. We also noted that Pompeo cited a lot of baseless reports in his statement, which reveals his intention to oppress the Confucius Institutes under unfounded pretexts.
We urge the U.S. to discard the cold-war mentality and zero sum game mindset and immediately correct its mistake. It should stop politicizing relevant education exchange projects, disrupting normal cultural and people-to-people exchange between China and the U.S. and eroding mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides.
We reserve the right to make further reactions.