The Trump administration branded the Confucius institutes as foreign missions, with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying they are part of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) global propaganda apparatus.
"When it comes to the Confucius institutes, we have ongoing concerns about activities of the CCP, including through these institutes, given they might affect academic freedom in the United States," Price said on Thursday, while denying reports that the Biden administration had withdrawn the designation.
The Trump administration proposed a rule that would require US educational institutions to report whether they have a relationship with Confucius institutes.
Price added that the Trump administration never submitted the rule to the Federal Register because Trump's Office of Management and Budget never completed its review of the draft rule.
Price said that Biden has frozen all regulatory processing of Trump-era policies that got stuck during the transition of power, which means that the draft rule was withdrawn from the review process and would need to be resubmitted.
Price did not confirm whether the Trump rule would be resubmitted for review, but he added that concerns over Confucius institutes would be addressed as the administration looks at how best to respond to China's propaganda operations.