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West's hard response to China's soft power efforts; Confucius Institutes and similar set-ups seen as bids to meddle in host countries' politics

Dec 08, 2019 - The Straits Times (Singapore)
Donations and Philanthropy

This month, a group of some 2,000 university directors, dons and teachers from across the world including Singapore will be gathering in Changsha, Hunan.

Here, in the city where modern China's late founder Mao Zedong grew up and discovered communism, they can take in sights such as the world's largest Mao statue, standing 32m tall, and his former home which was destroyed in 1929 but rebuilt for tourists and fans.

But the star pull will take place in a major convention centre.

There, under the theme of "Innovation and Development of International Chinese Education in the New Era", there will be lectures and panel discussions on "teaching Chinese in a global context"...