For Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), that’s a long-awaited acknowledgment. The majority of the institutes’ activity may be benign, and it’s difficult to determine how much self-censorship participating institutions engage in, Smith said. He has commissioned a study of the institutes by the Government Accountability Office to collect data to support his call for their closure.
“They are nests of influence, reconnaissance,” he said. “They keep tabs on Chinese students, and those who attend their classes are getting a Pollyannaish take on what China is about today.”