SUNY schools close Chinese government-backed program

The State University of New York has ended a Chinese government-backed program in its schools.

The Times Union reports that the University of Albany, Nassau Community College, Stony Brook University, SUNY College of Optometry, Binghamton University, and University at Buffalo have all closed their on-campus Confucius Institutes. This year. Educational and cultural programming centers, partially funded by China, aimed to share language, culture, ethics and philosophy among students, but have come under increasing scrutiny amid US tensions with the communist government Chinese.

“In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that continuing this relationship could jeopardize the University of Albany’s access to critical federal research funding,” the spokesperson said. University of Albany, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, to Times Union. “For a large research institution like UAlbany, that risk is untenable – no matter how valuable the programming.”

It’s unclear how much funding will be allocated statewide, but Carleo-Evangelist said UAlbany is at risk of accessing federal research funding — $100 million in 2019 and $70 million in 2020 – if he continued his relationship with the Confucius Institute.

According to the National Association of Scholars, there are still more than a dozen Confucius Institutes across the United States, including a remnant in New York State at Alfred University, a private school in Allegany County. . The Confucius Institute at Alfred University, supported by the Confucius Institute Headquarters/International Chinese Language Council (Hanban) Office and China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), says it is dedicated “to building a multicultural society and a peaceful world”.

There were over 110 institutes in the United States in 2017 and over 500 worldwide in 2018. Other schools that have closed programs in the past year include USC (University of Southern California) and George Washington University.

According to the Times Union, Confucius Institutes have become a popular add-on for colleges facing budget challenges over the past two decades, but some politicians have criticized them as anti-American promoters of Chinese propaganda. The Trump administration has designated the program a “foreign mission” in 2020, to which China has responded by accusing the United States of politicizing education and “interfering with normal people-to-people and cultural exchanges.” “.

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