In September 2014, Education Minister Christopher Pyne delivered a talk entitled China and Australia— Our Valued Education Relationship at Peking University’s Australian Studies Centre. The speech touched on many issues, and was largely uncontentious. However, one particular paragraph is noteworthy for its comments in an area becoming very controversial globally.
The Chinese Government through the Hanban, and in partnership with Australian universities, colleges and schools, has established 13 Confucius Institutes and 35 classrooms across Australia. They promote Chinese language and culture in a friendly, accessible and educational way and we welcome them.
Confucius Institutes and Classrooms are offered by the PRC Government to tertiary institutions and high schools globally, with the promise of instruction in Chinese language and culture at discount prices. The appeal of such an offering is understandable, and in Australia such Institutes and Classrooms can now be found at many major universities and high schools.