OPENING DOORS – Confucius is to blame
The Confucius Institutes promote Mandarin language and culture in the world.
Other China-watchers called the offices tools of ‘soft power’. But such observers would do well to remember that it was soft power that motivated the institution of the Alliance Française in the second half of the 1800s and the establishment of the British Council in the 1930s. The historical parallels are important and clear: during the height of their economic expansion, two great nations — France and Great Britain — felt it necessary to spread knowledge of their language and culture through dedicated institutes, and they succeeded.