UPDATE: In an email to the Weekly, the owner of A Little Dynasty denies there is any basis for the criticism of his new Chinese school in Irvine (see end of post) . . .
Could the Quail Hill Village Center in Irvine become the next hotspot for anti-communist crusaders fighting the spread of Chinese education in America?
The Irvine Co.'s Oct. 14 announcement about the opening of A Little Dynasty Chinese School is not being embraced by a Chinese-American activist who previously protested the life-size Mao Tse-Tung statue at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda and a "Confucius Classroom" program at Cedarlane Middle School in Hacienda Heights.
A Little Dynasty only educates preschoolers (roughly 3 to 4 years old), kindergarteners (4 to 5) and first graders (6-7). According to the school's website, a student is immersed in Chinese language but he or she also learns culture, art, music, science and math through methods geared to his or her age.
A Little Dynasty's Chinese School is an innovative program that makes learning Chinese language a fun-filled experience. This is a Chinese language immersion program that is carefully designed to self-motivate students to excel. The program is designed to simulate actual pre-kindergarten through first grade study in mainland China and Taiwan, using current official imported materials.
The Irvine Co. boasts that A Little Dynasty owner and Irvine resident Charles Liu "has relationships with some of the largest overseas children's publishing houses that allow the facility to use the latest official Chinese language classroom materials, including award-winning textbooks and multi-media materials unlike anything available domestically."
It's those materials--and where they are coming from--that troubles Kai Chen, the author, former Red Army member and Chinese national basketball team player who since relocating to Los Angeles has confronted what he sees as a Red Chinese spread into American life.
"Most Chinese language schools are more or less controlled and influenced by the Chinese government, for the material nowadays comes mostly from the mainland due to the communist propaganda machine and government funding," Chen said. "If you go to any Chinese language bookstore in America, you will find the similar material like those provided by the Confucius Classroom program. The poison is everywhere in America nowadays, and most people are unaware of it."
He claimed some teachers in Chinese language immersion programs instruct students to say, "I am not American. I am Chinese."
"Things like this must exposed," he said, "and poison the Chinese communist government injects in the world must be cleansed."
Like similar programs in public schools and universities around the country, the Confucius Classroom in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District was to be paid for through division of the Chinese government's education department.
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However, following the campaign launched by Chen and others, Hacienda La Puente's school board decided to fund the program itself, although some of the original China-supplied educational materials are being used.
Chen and other supporters of the anti-Red cause are now seeking recalls of Hacienda La Puente trustees who voted for Confucius Classroom.
UPDATE: Here is the email from Charles Liu:
I am the owner of A Little Dynasty. I have not been contacted by Kai Chen and have frankly never heard of him before I read your article so clearly Kai Chen has not actually seen our materials.
Our curriculum and all of the materials used in our school are imported from Taiwan. When we say approved by the MOE, we mean Taiwan's MOE. We do not use any materials from China, receive no money from China, and have no relationship whatsoever with any Chinese organization or the Chinese government. In fact, all of our instructors are from Taiwan. I am also from Taiwan.
I am an attorney at law (State Bar No. 190513). I demand that you immediately retract your blog post as it is false and defamatory.
While I do not necessarily concur with Mr. Kai Chen's viewpoint about China, he should have no problem with A Little Dynasty because our curriculum and materials come from Taiwan, one of the freest and most vibrant democracies in the world.