Pompeo calls for closure of Confucius Institutes

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for the closure of all Chinese government-backed education centers known as the Confucius Institutes mostly on university campuses in the United States.

He said on Thursday that the institutes have a "malign influence" on US students. He said he wants them closed by the end of this year.

His announcement comes after the State Department and Education Department sent letters of warning to education officials and universities in each state earlier this month.

The letter accused the Chinese language and cultural learning programs of being tools for the dissemination of the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda on US campuses.
There are reportedly seventy-five such institutes in the US. Mounting doubt about the program has recently prompted local governments and assemblies to have the institutes shut down at many universities.

Education authorities in New Hampshire issued a statement to heed the warnings of the letter but said it's up to local school boards to make the best decisions for their communities.

Pompeo's remarks were seen as part of an attempt to highlight President Donald Trump's China and Middle East policies. On Thursday, he gave radio interviews in Florida and Michigan, two swing states in the presidential election.