There is a concerted effort by the Western powers to contain the spread of Chinese and to prevent China from teaching Mandarin in the West
By Thorsten J. Pattberg for the Saker Blog
Much of the global media attention is on the sabotaging of everything ‘Russian’ in the West. However, at the same time there is a concerted Western attack on everything ‘Chinese’.
The UK now is basically saying: ‘Chinese’ is the property of the West, and China has no business in teaching Chinese in the West. Something like that. It is definitely spooky.
A British Member of Parliament (MP), Alicia Kearns, recently delivered a strong message to China at the Palace of Westminster, which was attended by maybe 20 of her social mores:
“Our students, our kids, our under-18-years olds are taught Mandarin by the Confucius Institutes which are the arm of the Chinese state.”
She goes on and bashes a 1.4 billion Chinese state just like that, for click-bait and going viral. So we believe MP Kearns is what the UK deserves, and want to promote her. She calls China “a genocidal regime” and demands the 30 UK Confucius Institutes to be punished or “banned.” Wow.
Not knowing Mandarin, many British elites fear Chinese. Fear is a German concept: Angst. And Angst leads to Ohnmacht. Ohnmacht means “without power.”
Did I just use a foreign language and it sounded like a political statement?
The MP knows the effect a foreign language has on fearful natives. To her, language is of course always politics. Therefore, China must not spread Chinese, because it‘s all politics.
She continued: “We recently discovered that Edinburgh University‘s Confucius Institute has representatives of the Chinese Communist Party‘s embassy on its board.“
Oh there are Chinese on the board of the Confucius Institute for Scotland—is that it?!
But the director is a German woman, trained and funded all her life by the powers in Berlin, and Berlin wants Scotland to break off from the UK and join the EU. Think about that, MP Kearns.
British China Studies is heavy stuff, compared to German China Studies, I mean.
This has to do with the British having bombarded Chinese ports in Guangzhou in 1839, the capture of Hong Kong in 1842, the burning down of the Summer Palace in 1860, and the drugging of 30 million Chinese with heavy narcotics.
During the last 150 years of “exchange,” the British meddled in Tibet, Taiwan, Peking, Shanghai and Canton, but never learned Chinese. Call it an “import ban.”
So the past is the past, and now ‘Global Britain’—the official UK slogan under MP Kearns—has this huge pent-up demand for Chinese culture, concepts and terms, right?
Those Confucius Institutes our British MP wants to ban are providing the most authentic, accredited and prestigious Chinese language training there is.
China has the best China Studies universities in the world, and the Confucius Institutes are the best places for learning Chinese outside of China. Period.
I know that many British imperialists still believe No we British are China. But sorry, you are not—China is!
Mastering Chinese requires thousands of hours of hard recitation, rote learning and love for China. Before the arrival of the Confucius Institutes in Europe in 2004, Western professors could not read or write Mandarin. Now they have to.
And the MP continued, that China is “undermining the integrity of the Mandarin education in our country.”
Mandarin education in your country can keep up with China precisely because it cooperates with China, for instance the London School of Economics or the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Read the latter school’s slogan—’SOAS, the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East’.
Well, SOAS wasn’t the world’s leading institution in any of these things, and certainly not China. China has the world’s leading institutions for the study of China. But now SOAS has a real Confucius Institute and things look much better.
Back to our MP’s politics fear. She went on about how China’s Ministry of Education is a threat to freedom because it only selects qualified teachers.
Think, what she is indirectly saying about UK teachers. She is saying that the UK does not vet its teachers! Just like that German director at Edinburgh University, got it? And just like MP Kearns, who doesn‘t know Chinese but wants to ban it.
The British MP must know that the Confucius Institutes are partly funded by China and partly funded by the host university, and that they generate tuition fees and partner up with British culture makers. All this is transparent, so MP Kearns demands more transparency. She could also have demanded more weather.
There are 100 million Mandarin learners in the world, and most will achieve proficiency when they visit China eventually. About 40% of them study Chinese not in China, and the best place for them to do that is with an accredited Confucius Institute. Britain has no expertness in teaching Chinese, China is best at that. Britain can teach… I don’t know, Irish best?
British educators also fear its name—Confucius. Confucius lived some 2500 years ago, and this could indeed cause misunderstanding. We don’t name European institutes the “Jesus Christ Institutes.” Just saying.
Last, a fair criticism is spies. Britain indeed has a James Bond agent 007 obsession with spies, which is a fiction. Here is how it really works. Before 2003, there were at most 300 China Studies masters graduates in the UK, and MI6, MI5 and DI intelligence services recruited from those because they could read Mandarin, also in Edinburgh.
On the other hand, there were years with 100,000 Chinese students in the UK who could all read English, so everyone is paranoid now.
Well done, if the British MP succeeds in keeping China out of China Studies, this could cancel ‘Global Britain’ once and for all. And Scotland is probably on its way out too.
The author is a German writer and cultural critic.