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US-backed culture centres under fire in China - 11 months ago, 13 Mar 16:22

By: Afp

BEIJING The interrogation of the American cultural centre staffer lasted an hour and a half. The Chinese police got straight to the point: where did it get its funding? How did it vet speakers? And most importantly, what was its connection to the US government? It was an extreme case, but not unusual. The US State Department documented over 150 examples of Chinese interference in American public diplomacy efforts between January 2016 and April 2017, carried out in the name of countering "hostile foreign forces" — alleged saboteurs plotting to overthrow the Communist Party's rule. The pressure has disrupted numerous cultural initiatives from salsa concerts and movie nights to visiting scholar programmes, even as China scoffs at growing concerns about the political influence of its own "Confucius Institutes", which have mushroomed around the world in recent years. The Chinese interference has perhaps been felt most acutely at the American Centres ...
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