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Arizona State University Shuts Down Confucius Institute

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Arizona State University has joined 15 other higher education institutions across the nation that have banned the controversial Confucius Institute.

The Institute, a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China, claims to promote Chinese language and culture.

In May, Arizona State silently closed the institute, after the U.S. Department of Defense denied its request to seek a waiver from the National Defense Authorization Act, the AZ Central reports.

“We regret to inform you that as of May 31, 2019, the Confucius Institute at Arizona State University is closed. We thank you for your dedicated support to our programs,” reads a one-sentence statement posted on its website.

The Act limits funds for Chinese language programs at universities that host a Confucius Institute. Over the next five years, the university is expected to receive $750,000 annually for its Language Flagship Program.

The institute was founded in 2007 through a partnership between Arizona State University, Sichuan University in Chengdu, the Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Office of Chinese Language Council International. It has established dedicated “Confucius Classroom” in partnerships with 14 elementary and secondary schools in five school districts in Arizona.

Earlier this year, a Senate report revealed that the Confucius Institutes were found to be spreading propaganda on more than 100 college campuses across the country, spending $150 million over the last decade to limit criticism of China’s political policies.

Many have criticized the institutes in the past, alleging that they pose a serious threat to the country’s national security. Over the last six months, many higher education institutes across the country have severed ties with the Confucius Institutes as well, including the University of South Florida, University of Michigan, University of North Florida and Cornell University.

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