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Uni of Michigan to close Confucius Inst.

The University of Michigan has announced it will not renew its agreement with the Confucius Institute when its current partnership expires in 2019.

The University of Michigan's institute differed from others in the US as it would "bring Chinese artists and performers to Ann Arbor". Photo: pxhere

Michigan is far from the first US HEI to cut ties with the CI

According to the university, its decision not to renew the Confucius Institute for a third term is based on a “desire to encourage greater engagement in the arts of China” via its regular academic and cultural departments.

“We bring Chinese artists to Ann Arbor to provide opportunities for our community”

“This transition is driven by a desire to more broadly include the work of exploring and studying Chinese visual and performing arts within U-M’s regular academic and cultural units,” James Holloway, vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs, said in a statement.

The University of North Florida announced it would close a campus branch of the Confucius Institute, which was one of the schools US senator Marco Rubio urged to terminate agreements with the institute in February, while the FBI warned that Chinese spies were operating at scores of US institutions.

Texas A&M also cut ties in April, N.C. State University in November, University of West Florida, Prairie View A&M University, University of Iowa, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign

Holloway told The PIE News the Confucius Institute, which the University of Michigan has sponsored for the past 10 years, is different to others across the US.

“Rather than bringing language instructors to our campus, as most such institutes do, we bring Chinese artists and performers to Ann Arbor to provide an opportunity for our community to learn about Chinese performing arts,” he said.

“The timing of our decision is driven solely by the end-date of our current agreement with the Hanban, which is next summer,” Holloway added. “We plan to celebrate the work of the institute next winter with a Chinese grand opera.”

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