Blackburn, Markey Bipartisan Push to Support U.S Education Cooperation With Taiwan Over China

September 26, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are encouraging U.S. colleges and universities to support the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative as an alternative to China’s propaganda fueled Confucius Institutes. Taiwan, a democratic-ruled island, can help teach American students Mandarin, culture, and history in a censorship and coercion-free environment.

“Communist China has had a strong presence at American colleges and universities,” said Senator Blackburn. “We’ve already seen how Beijing has attempted to use its foothold to censor our students and silence activists on American soil. Our institutes of higher learning must be free from China’s grasp while still teaching students about the culture, history, and language, and Taiwan can help fill this critical void. Congress should continue doing all we can to support Taiwan and increase ties between our two nations. I appreciate Senator Markey joining me in this bipartisan effort.”

“If we want to continue building a strong relationship with Taiwan, then we need to support foreign language exchange between our two nations,” said Senator Markey. “This resolution reaffirms our nation’s commitment to expanding educational opportunities for people at home and abroad to learn English or Mandarin. I thank Senator Blackburn for her work to strengthen our friendship with Taiwan, underscored by the languages that we use to communicate with and learn from one another.”

“I welcome the bipartisan resolution introduced by Senators Blackburn and Markey to support further education cooperation as part of the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, said Taiwan’s Ambassador to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim. “Taiwan can play a key role in providing American students with an open academic environment for learning Mandarin. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the U.S. to achieve the goals laid out by the Initiative.”

  • Beijing-funded culture centers located on countless U.S. college campuses, known as Confucius Institutes, allowed the Communist Chinese Party to censor and monitor our students.
  • After many of these Confucius Institutes closed, colleges and universities continue to have a need for mandarin language instruction.
  • The goal of this resolution is to signal that the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative is supported on a bipartisan basis as a censorship free alternative to Confucius Institutes.
  • Mandarin is the second most spoken language in the world, with more than 1,000,000,000 speakers, making it critical to United States national security and prosperity.
  • Click here for the resolution