The Guardian reports that MPs have been in discussions to swap Beijing-backed teachers for professionals from Taiwan.
The Guardian reported that British MPs met with Taipei for talks to replace Beijing-backed Chinese language educators working in Britain with Taiwanese staff.
Students in Britain can learn Mandarin through the Confucius Institute’s 30 branch locations. These are jointly ventured by universities from the UK and China as well as the Beijing-based Chinese International Education Foundation.
Funding for the project between 2015 and 2024 is estimated at £27 million ($31 million), according to the China Research Group.
The Guardian stated that London now wants to redirect the money to programs other than those offered by Taiwan.
It said that Alicia Kearns (a prominent Tory lawmaker) is part of the group of cross-party MPs who have been involved with Taipei in negotiations to offer Chinese language instructors.
The Confucius Institute was praised by Liz Truss, the new UK prime minister. She first visited it in 2014 as education minister. When she was education minister in 2014, Liz Truss said the Confucius Institute had made a significant contribution to her life. “very strong progress”In the UK, it was stated that they would “put in place a strong infrastructure for Mandarin” iN the country.
However, the Beijing-backed program has since come under increased scrutiny amid the recent cooling in relations between the UK and China, and Britain’s overwhelming support for the self-governed island of Taiwan, which the Chinese authorities view as part of their own territory.
Critics have accused the Confucius Institute of lacking freedom of speech in classes, promoting Beijing’s agenda and even being used for spying.
A report by the Times last month claimed that Truss was planning to label China an ‘acute threat’ to the UK, putting it in the same category as Russia. She previously called Chinese tech giants a security threat and demanded more weapons be sent to Taipei.
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