IUPUI Closes Confucius Institute

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(photo courtesy IUPUI) (photo courtesy IUPUI)

Indiana University has closed the Confucius Institute of Indianapolis on the IUPUI campus. In a statement to Inside INdiana Business, IU said the decision "ensures ongoing operations of some programs within IU impacted by federal changes surrounding Chinese language programs."

The university would not provide any additional information on the closure. 

Confucius Institutes are located at dozens of universities throughout the country. Several Indiana schools have hosted Confucius Institutes in the past but many no longer have information available, including the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University and the University of Southern Indiana.

Valparaiso University still hosts a Confucius Institute. The university's website describes the institute as a nonprofit "dedicated to the teaching of the Chinese language and the understanding of Chinese culture among world Chinese language learners and Chinese culture lovers, thus to help build friendly relationships with other countries."

Confucius Institutes have been criticized for their alleged efforts to spread propaganda through their programming. Indiana Congressman Jim Banks (R-3) released a statement Friday praising IUPUI's move, saying, "The Chinese Communist Party in Beijing knows that U.S. universities are home to important research, some of which involves sensitive national security information funded by U.S. federal departments. By using businesses and cultural exchanges as fronts, the Chinese government infiltrates these institutions and steal our nation’s intellectual property and secrets. Thanks to the necessary steps by IUPUI and MIT, more schools are waking up to this reality, and I suspect many more will follow their lead.”

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