The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Newsletter
Newsletter No. 46. 2014       

November 17, 2014

New Articles
Marshall Sahlins  
  Confucius Institutes: Academic Malware

Now in its second week, our annual fundraising campaign is off to a strong start. It aims to keep the Journal a vibrant and free voice exploring the Asia-Pacific and the world. Fulfilling our goal of $12,000 will allow us to do so, and to move ahead with a redesigned home page that will make our work more accessible and influential. If you wish to support the journal please go to our sustainers' page on the home page and contribute via Paypal or credit card. We are a 501(c) tax exempt organization, meaning that your contribution is fully tax deductible.

The fourth meeting between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping last week has been reported as marking a drop in American criticism of Chinese naval activity, cyberwarfare and human rights violations, among other issues, instead cooperation between the two wary powers, including the possibility of joint leadership on global environmental crisis, is being emphasized. Since 2004, the Chinese Communist Party has been expanding its reach overseas "toward improving [its] soft power" through the Confucius Institute. Find the complete list of Confucius Institutes in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and globally here. On the surface similar to the Alliance Franšaise, the Goethe-Institut, USIS, and other international cultural promotion organizations, the Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, which are based at universities and schools around, effectively act as extensions of the Chinese government, promoting Party positions on Taiwan, Tibet and Tiananmen, censoring critical views, and inserting themselves into local academic faculties. At a time when the University of Chicago and a number of other academic institutions have terminated their relationship with the Confucian Institutes, touching off worldwide discussion of the issues,  Marshall Sahlins examines these and other problems associated with the Confucius Institutes, arguing that academic institutions should terminate their relations to it for the sake of intellectual integrity in controlling their own curriculum and research agendas with respect to China, the Chinese language, and research on China. Find a complete list of the hundreds of colleges and universities in the US, North America and around the world that have established Confucian Institutes. The importance of the questions raised here have led us to make this a special issue with a single article.

The Asia-Pacific Journal is pleased to announce that Noriko Manabe's article, "Music in Japanese Anti-Nuclear Demonstrations," has been awarded the Waterman Prize from the Society of Ethnomusicology. Congratulations.
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