Monday, March 6, 2017

'It's all a game of influence'

Filmmaker Doris Liu watches intently from a front-row seat at the world
premiere screening of her documentary, In the Name of Confucius
A foreign power targeting Canadian schoolchildren in an insidious plot to spread its influence sounds like the plot to a Hollywood movie.

But for Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Doris Liu it’s all too real, and much closer to home than some might expect.

The world premiere of her film, In The Name of Confucius, was held at the CORE Centre on Friday as part of Belleville Downtown DocFest.

The film details Liu’s unraveling of the mystery surrounding the Chinese government’s multi-billion dollar Confucius Institute program.

Taken at face value the program exists to teach Chinese language and promote Chinese culture in countries outside of China’s borders.

These institutes, which are currently embedded in close to a dozen schools across Canada, are directly funded and controlled by the Chinese government, giving them influence over the curriculum.

At the heart of the documentary is Sonia Zhao, a teacher who came from China to work at a Confucius Institute in Canada.

Zhao is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a belief system which has been heavily persecuted by the Chinese government since the late 90s. Practitioners of Falun Gong are routinely jailed and, according to some reports, are the victims of forced organ harvesting.  (more...)


What implications are there for Chinese Catholics, who are also controlled by their government?

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