The Chinese Communist Party's subversion of freedom of expression in Europe

With China becoming an increasingly dominant world power, there is growing evidence that an emboldened Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is employing a range of tools aimed at pressuring or manipulating foreign entities to respect – or even align with – the CCP’s political agenda.

Examples include the sanctions imposed on a British academic for decrying the human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur region, the demands made of a French history museum to remove certain words from their exhibition about Mongol emperor Genghis Khan, and the threats sent to a think-tank director in response to his report exposing Slovak universities’ links to Chinese institutions.

Banned by Beijing seeks to raise awareness of the CCP’s subversion of freedom of expression in Europe by creating a repository of reports, articles and other resources that will enable us to understand the extent to which we need to protect our fundamental rights and our democracies from Chinese interference.

New report: The rise of Confucius Institutes

Confucius Institutes were established in 2004 with the stated mission of teaching Chinese language and culture abroad and are widely acknowledged as one of the ways China exerts its influence around the world.

By operating primarily on campuses, Confucius Institutes are unlike other countries’ cultural organisations which, according to some, enables the Chinese authorities to gain a foot-hold for the exercise of control over the study of China and the Chinese language.

This offers the Institutes the possibility to unilaterally promote Chinese policy and ideas in a one-sided way, to commit censorship, or to stimulate self-censorship about China among students, pupils and the wider public.

Click here to read the report

Watch our online launch event

Every time a European university pressures an academic to temper their criticism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), every time a filmmaker opts to amend their film to avoid offending the Chinese authorities, and every time a Chinese citizen living in Europe self-censors in an effort to protect themselves or their families in China, the CCP is effectively censoring Europe.

This virtual event with speakers Mareike Ohlberg, Tom Tugendhat MP, Edward Lucas and Trevor Phillips explored the extent to which the CCP is exploiting its growing influence in order to erode freedom of expression in Europe, and will look at what needs to be done to protect our fundamental rights and our democracy.

Click here to watch the event