San Francisco State University shutters its Confucius Institute

SFSU the 13th US university to cut ties with China-funded Confucius Institute

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San Francisco State University J. Paul Leonard Library (Source: Wikimedia Commons - Webbi1987)

San Francisco State University J. Paul Leonard Library (Source: Wikimedia Commons - Webbi1987)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –- San Francisco State University (SFSU) decided to end its 14-year collaboration with the Confucius Institute under pressure from the federal government, making it the 13th U.S. university to cut ties with the Chinese government-funded program, the Liberty Times reports.

The National Defense Authorization Act passed last year bars the U.S. Department of Defense from sponsoring the Chinese Flagship Program, through which it offers grants for intensive language study, at any U.S. university with a Confucius Institute. The U.S. government has been warning academic institutions that they may be exposing themselves to Chinese influence or espionage by cooperating with the institutes or other China-supported exchange programs.

National Association of Scholars statistics showed that in January there were 105 Confucius Institutes around the country, a number that has since approached 90, reports the L.A. Times. Beyond the U.S., the Canadian, French, and Swedish governments are also making efforts to shutter Confucius Institutions on the campuses of their universities.