OTTAWA (May 29, 2007)
Canada's spy service believes China has enlisted Confucius, the master of enduring wisdom, in its drive for global dominance.
A newly declassified intelligence report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says Beijing is out to win the world's hearts and minds, not just its economic markets, as a means of cementing power.
The secret CSIS brief, obtained under the Access to Information Act, points to the creation of more than 100 Confucius Institutes around the world, including one at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver. Agreements have been struck to create institutes in Waterloo, Montreal and Moncton, N.B.
The Confucius Institutes, the brainchild of Beijing's Ministry of Education, primarily promote Chinese language and culture.
"In other words, China wants the world to have positive feelings toward China and things Chinese," the CSIS report says.
The report, portions of which were blacked out, paints the spread of Confucius Institutes as a calculated use of the discipline known as "soft power."