Attorney General Todd Rokita is launching an investigation into Valparaiso University’s association with the Confucius Institutes. The institutes are alleged to function as a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party, according to Rokita’s office.
Rokita’s office says Confucius Institutes have operated in Indiana for years.
“Hoosiers deserve answers and transparency into the impact of these institutes on our schools and students,” said Rokita. “Our investigation seeks to uncover whether the Chinese government has attempted to exert political influence and manipulate the attitudes and beliefs of Hoosiers through their Confucius Institutes. Our office will use every tool at our disposal to protect Hoosiers and put liberty into action.”
Rokita has issued a civil investigative demand to Valparaiso University to look into possible violations of the Higher Education Act of 1965 or Indiana’s Deceptive Consumer Sales Act. The investigation is aimed at “identifying and getting to the bottom of the true intent of any relationships between Valparaiso University’s programming and the Chinese Communist Party.”
The propaganda efforts are referred to by China as the “United Front.”
The university reported receiving more than $1.1 million from the Chinese government between 2010 and 2019. The documents filed by Valpo with the U.S. Department of Education do not indicate exactly how the funding was used.
Since 2006, Rokita’s office says the Chinese government has provided more than $158 million to more than 100 U.S. schools for Confucius Institutes. The Chinese Communist Party controls nearly every aspect of Confucius Institutes at U.S. schools, including its funding, staff, and all programming.
In 2019, Indiana University closed the Confucius Institute of Indianapolis on the IUPUI campus.