Kurt Campbell – President Biden’s “Asia Czar” – delivered a keynote at a conference sponsored by Chinese Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes.
Campbell, who serves as the Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific at the National Security Council “leading” President Biden’s relationship with China, spoke at the 2011 National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC).
The event’s archived website reveals two sponsors: Confucius Institutes Headquarters and Yale University Press.
Confucius Institutes, which are hosted at American universities, have been described by Chinese government officials as “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.”
The well-funded, controversial operations disguise themselves as language and culture initiative despite being replete with “undisclosed ties to Chinese institutions, and conflicted loyalties,” Chinese state propaganda, and intellectual property theft, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The Chinese government entity also served as an exhibitor at the event and counted its Director-General and a Senior Consultant among speakers. The NCLC also featured panels on how American institutions could set up Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, the elementary school complement to the university-level program.
A transcript of Campbell’s speech reveals him praising other Chinese Communist Party officials in attendance as “dear friends” and “wonderful men”:
“I do want to ask two wonderful friends to stand up just to take a very quick bow in front of all of you. When you think of the U.S.–China relationship, I want you to recognize the incredible role that the Chinese Ambassador to the United States and the Vice Foreign Minister in Beijing, the role they played in helping bridge the critical issues between our two countries. I’d like, if I could, to have Ambassador Zhang stand up and my very good friend, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai.
I would try not to embarrass them, but they are wonderful men, they are good friends. Ultimately, relations between nations are about good relations between people, so then I would call them both my dear friends and I have treasured the opportunities to work with both of them.”
Labeled the “Guest of Honor” at the event, Campbell spoke at the Opening Ceremony along with then-Vice Premier Liu Yandong who headed the country’s United Front Work Department, which, according to the U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission, aims “to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party” and “influence overseas Chinese communities, foreign governments, and other actors to take actions or adopt positions supportive of Beijing’s preferred policies.”
“At this point, 98 countries and regions have set up Confucius Institutes and Confucius classrooms comprising a total of around 400,000 students. In the United States, more than 1,000 universities have set up Chinese language departments, more than 4,000 primary and secondary schools offer Chinese courses and increasingly more states arrange Confucius classrooms within primary and secondary schools.”
The unearthed speech follows the Biden White House reversing a Trump-era policy that would have forced universities to disclose funds received from the Chinese Communist Party through Confucius Institutes.
Campbell also served as Vice-Chairman of the U.S.-China Strong Foundation, a group pushing for closer academic ties between the U.S. and China that has similarly collaborated with Confucius Institutes and the state-run Bank of China.