Blackburn-led request seeks details on College Board-Chinese language council relationship

Sen. Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) led several of her Republican colleagues in requesting information about the College Board’s dealings with the Confucius Institute Headquarters, which is supported by Hanban, officially known as the Office of Chinese Language Council International.

The College Board’s relationship with Hanban creates national security concerns, according to Sen. Blackburn and six colleagues in an Oct. 26 letter sent to College Board Chief Executive Officer David Coleman, who noted that the National Association of Scholars on Aug. 31 issued a report identifying the College Board as a target for the Chinese influence campaign.

“This report alleged that the College Board partnered with China to develop the Advanced Placement (AP) Chinese Language and Culture Exam,” wrote Sen. Blackburn and the lawmakers. “The report further alleged that the College Board helped place Chinese nationals in U.S. schools through the Chinese Guest Teacher Program, a collaboration between College Board and Hanban.”

The senators “are concerned” that the People’s Republic of China is exploiting its partnership with the College Board “to stifle conversation that might undermine the reputation of the Chinese Communist Party,” according to their letter.

Specifically, they asked Coleman to answer numerous questions, including what Hanban’s role is in the Chinese Guest Teacher Program; what involvement the Chinese government has in the AP Chinese Language and Culture test; and how much money the College Board has received from the Hanban or from the Chinese government, among others.