Members of the University of Delaware Falun Dafa Club hosted a screening of the documentary “In the Name of Confucius” on the night of November 13th, 2019 in Trabant Theater. The screening was attended by many University of Delaware students as well as the university’s Vice Provost of Diversity Michael Vaughan, Newark Councilman Chris Hamilton, and Delaware House Representative Paul Baumbach.
“In the Name of Confucius” delves into the Confucius Institute (CI): the Chinese government’s multi-billion dollar project and Chinese language program established in over 1,600 foreign universities and schools around the world. The film follows former CI teacher and graduate student Sonia Zhao, and explores the global controversy surrounding the Confucius Institute and the 2014 outcry against Canada’s largest school board, the TDSB, over its plan to open the world’s largest CI.
Sonia Zhao claimed refugee status in Canada after exposing discriminatory policies of the Confucius Institute at McMaster University. The one-hour documentary film examines the risks that Confucius Institutes pose to society, human rights, and American education, and investigates the real reason why the Chinese government spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fund Confucius Institutes in other countries.
Newark Councilman Chris Hamilton and Delaware House Representative Paul Baumbach gave a few closing remarks after the film. A Q&A panel followed, featuring 3 panelists: an investigative reporter who has covered Confucius Institutes in the past, a professor of psychiatry and columnist on current US-China relations, and a UD alum who has worked in Washington, D.C. educating lawmakers on the use of soft power in diplomacy strategies. “In the Name of Confucius” director Doris Liu joined via video conference for an engaging discussion with the audience.
Delaware House Representative Paul Baumbach is an alumni of University of Delaware (Class of ’83) and said: “I think it’s a positive step for the university to be ending its partnership with the Confucius Institute as of early next year, and I think that we can, again, deepen and improve the university’s commitment to those from China and those who wish to celebrate the treasures of China”.
In October of 2019, the University of Delaware announced that it would be ending its 10-year partnership with the Confucius Institute in early 2020.