Brexit leader Nigel Farage has warned that there is a “communist takeover” of large swaths of Britain’s private education sector, as an investigation has revealed that schools throughout the country have been bought out by firms connected to the Chinese government.
There are currently 17 private schools in the United Kingdom owned by Chinese firms, nine of which are owned by senior members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The schools are reportedly presenting a “whitewashed” view of China to their students, and one school has admitted that the goal of infiltrating the education system is to propagate China’s One Belt, One Road global initiative, an investigation from the Mail on Sunday revealed.
Reform UK party leader Nigel Farage said that the British government “must wake up to the dangers and act quickly” warning that “the world is being taken over by stealth by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Under a neo-colonial project, President Xi Jinping hopes to achieve global economic domination via massive international investments.”
“For example, three schools and a network of colleges are now owned by the Bright Scholar Group, run by Yang Huiyan, whose billionaire father is a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party. In essence, this is nothing less than a Communist takeover of part of Britain’s private education sector,” Farage said.
“Meanwhile, there’s the role of the Confucius Institutes. Under the control of the Chinese government, its students are taught a grossly sanitised version of Chinese history and politics,” he added.
The investigation found that since 2014, Chinese companies have taken advantage of financial difficulties facing boarding schools in order to scoop them up. Last year alone, three schools were bought out by Chinese firms.
In 2017, the Wanda group, founded by Chinese prominent Chinese Communist Party member and billionaire Wang Jianlin, bought two private schools Bedstone College in Shropshire and Ipswich High School.
Mr Farage noted that as a result of inflation, private schools in the United Kingdom have become only accessible to the rich, saying: “As a result, such schools – especially those with boarders – are reliant on Chinese students to help balance the books.”
The communist infiltration extends beyond buying up schools, with 29 Confucius Institutes on British university campuses, and 148 Confucius classrooms present in schools.
Both operations claim to offer education on the Chinese language and culture, yet are in fact branches of the Chinese Ministry of Education which reports directly to the Communist Party’s central propaganda department.
In Confucius classrooms, students are shown propaganda articles, including those showing tourists enjoying holidays in Xinjiang, the region home to the concentration camps in which Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities are interned in the millions. Another programme within the classrooms also displays a dancing virtual Xi Jinping which gives students a “sanitised view” of the history of the Chinese state.
“These people are being taught that China is the future, they are literally being indoctrinated by the Chinese Communist Party,” Nigel Farage said, adding that they are not taught about the genocide in Xinjiang or the destruction of democracy in Hong Kong.
Beyond silencing debate on sensitive issues for the Chinese government, such as the so-called “Three T’s” — Taiwan, Tibet, and Tiananmen Square — Confucious Institutes have been accused of monitoring the activities of Chinese students studying abroad.
One Chinese student reported: “The Confucius Institute, to me, functions like the closed circulation television and has the potential to scare away my critical thinking by constantly reminding me: we are watching you and behave yourself.”
Last month, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced a review of Confucius Institutes in British schools.
Commenting on the “ccommunist takeover” of British schools, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat said: “China’s strategic understanding and reach means that they have an advantage in seeking to influence others and using established brands, including some of our own, to achieve that position.
“We need to decide what it is we are prepared to defend, but before that we would need to understand what it is we want.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “Owners of independent schools have a requirement to promote fundamental British values. Schools cannot promote partisan political views.”
Photo: Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images