After months of campaigning, Trustees at the School Board on October 29, overwhelmingly voted to cancel their relationship with Confucius Institute, that would have brought Chinese government textbooks, teachers and all its propaganda and censorship of Tibet, Human rights in China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama in our classrooms.
This victory is a big step forward in exposing the Chinese government’s insidious plan to shut down free discussions on Tibet and human rights through the Confucius Institutes. In recent months, we’ve seen the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania end their partnerships with the Confucius Institutes because of the level of influence these deals are giving the Chinese government.
Now, the Confucius Institute has been shut out of Toronto’s schools once and for all. And this is only the beginning.
“CIs have a primarily political agenda. Although this is not stated on the website of Hanban (Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a foreign Language) or in the contracts it signs with host institutions, Chinese leaders describe it as an organization for spreading propaganda and building soft power.” – Canada’s security Intelligence service (C.S.I.S.)
Read C.S.I.S. full report: http://tsas.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2013/09/CHINA_ENG.pdf
Urgyen Badheytsang, alumni of Parkdale Collegiate in Toronto and SFT Canada’s Director spoke on how the TDSB’s partnership with Confucius Institutes would only bring oppression and censorship to Canadian schools.
Timeline of events:
- May 2014: The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Confucius Institute agreement stirred public concern over censorship and academic freedom; Trustees were urged to investigate the agreement. TDSB’s Executive Director resigned; after meetings with local groups, TDSB voted to delay the renewal of their CI agreement.
- October 1st: A 10,000+ voices strong petition opposed to Confucius Institute was presented to TDSB. The Trustees voted to table a motion to terminate the TDSB CI agreement on October 29th.
- On October 23rd, the Hunan Education Department from China, preempting a rejection, wrote publicly to the TDSB requesting an end to their agreement.
- On October 29th, at the TDSB Trustees meeting, 21 out of 24 Trustees voted to terminate the Confucius Institute agreement. Hundreds of academic freedom advocates including members of SFT demonstrated outside the TDSB offices throughout October.