Two universities cut ties with Confucius institutes

A second major American university in a week is severing ties with China's government-funded Confucius institutes, which critics call a propaganda arm wrapped in culture and language education, writes Sharon Bernstein for Reuters.

Pennsylvania State University said recently it would end its five-year relationship with the institutes at the end of this year, citing differences with the Chinese government agency that controls and funds them. “Several of our goals are not consistent with those of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, known as the Hanban, which provides support to Confucius institutes throughout the world," Susan Welch, dean of the college of liberal arts at Penn State, said in an emailed statement.

On 25 September, the University of Chicago also severed ties with the institutes, saying a high-ranking official with the Hanban agency had told a Chinese language newspaper that the agency would prevail in ongoing negotiations with the university.
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