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Confucius Institutes under scrutiny from Germany

Image: Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Government officials confirm concerns over narrowed academic freedom, Chinese funding dependencies and book bans

Confucius Institutes—research institutes working closely with Chinese universities—are now subject to “close monitoring” amid security concerns, the German government has confirmed.

In a response to a parliamentary question by the conservative CDU/CSU parties, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution said it was observing the activities of these institutes and how they work with their German partners. “In the academic field, the Chinese Confucius Institutes are significant actors with influence, that can threaten to undermine academic freedom in various ways,” the office said.

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