Confucius Institutes face pushback toward China’s gates

Confucius Institutes face pushback toward China’s gates

The Chinese government has made strides in containing the coronavirus, which infected tens of thousands and killed more than 4,000 people in the country while spreading worldwide. At the same time, Beijing is locked in an increasingly heated diplomatic confrontation with Washington. Nikkei’s bureau chief in China, Tetsushi Takahashi, is filing dispatches on what he sees.

Monday, Oct. 19

Deshengmen, northern Beijing’s “Gate of Virtuous Triumph,” was built in the 15th century and designed to be impenetrable. The Ming dynasty structure was also called “the military gate,” since the imperial army would march out of it as it deployed to defeat a foreign enemy.

Nearby sits the general headquarters of the Confucius Institutes — dispatched by China’s government around the world to promote Chinese-language education.

In contrast with Deshengmen, the headquarters building is modern. And unlike many other Chinese government offices, it has no heavy security presence to scare people away.