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US directive confuses Confucius Institues | May 24, 2012 18:09
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Photoes of Confucius Institues in US. Source: Agencies

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Issued date
May 17, 2012
US State Department
Directive details
1 The J-1 visa holders, mainly foreign professors, academics, and students at the university level are prohibited from teaching in public or private schools at the precollege level.

2 Any current visa holders on the college level who are schoolteachers will be allowed to complete the academic year, but no extensions will be granted. They will have to return to their own country, where they can apply for another visa under the appropriate category.

3 The foreign language centers must be part of the sponsoring college's foreign-language program or apply for separate accreditation form US government.
Influences to Confucius Institutes
1 Confucius Institutes cannot continue with what is, for many of the centers, a major part of their mission: providing Chinese-language teachers to elementary and secondary schools.

2 Chinese teachers and volunteers with J-1 visas have to return to China by June 30, where they can apply for another visa under the appropriate category.

3 Confucius Institutes will have to get special accreditation form US government.

Related reacitions
US government: the policy directive was not intended to disrupt the activities of Confucius Institutes, but rather was an effort to ensure that foreign academics and teachers at the institutes come to the United States under the correct visa categories.

China: the director general of Hanban, the Office of the Chinese Language Council International, has since sent a letter to American university presidents whose institutions host Confucius Institutes expressing concern about the State Department action and asking for their support.

US universities: 70 American universities that host Confucius Institutes feel surprise about the directive. They are scrambling to find a solution to minimize disruptions by the time the school year begins in August or early September.
Report of foreign media
State Department Directive Could Disrupt Teaching Activities of Campus-Based Confucius Institutes - The Chronicle of Higher Education


A US State Department official
This is not about the Confucius Institutes or about the Chinese model, but just simply a regulatory matter. The Obama administration supports our work.
General Director of China’s Hanban
I am shocked and confused by the policy. The Confucius Institutes are just meant to strengthen relationships between China and the rest of the world.
Stephen C. Dunnett, vice provost of international education of University of Buffalo
We are considering the possibility of working with third-party groups, such as the College Board, that are already approved to sponsor foreign teachers. But I still worry that we won't be able to keep our commitment to local schools (to provide Chinese language class for them).
US media - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Critics of the centers have called them propaganda vehicles for the Chinese government. But it's far from certain what led to the current policy directive by the State Department, particularly as the two countries have recently emphasized the importance of academic and cultural exchange, through efforts like the 100,000 Strong Initiative, an Obama-administration pledge to double the number of Americans studying in China.
Wei Wei, a female Chinese teacher in US

The parents want the schools to provide Chinese classes, as they know that China develops soon and Chinese will be a practical tool in the future.

Ms. Luders, a Washington resident who sends her daughter to learn Chinese
Chinese course is popular in the city. Her daughter likes learning China and wants to learn more.

Internet Voices:

我叫liubin: There are often a colossal amount of negative reports on China in a year when a new US president is to be elected. These reports not only hurt the Chinese people but also the interest of the US. I sincerely hope that the US could take into consideration of the interest of the two countries’ nationals and the Sino-US relation and strictly carry out the Sino-US joint communiques. Let these political farces be ridiculed.

GeorgeRay: It is ok if both nations handle the issue in accordance with relevant laws, including whether these teachers have legal visas for teaching, whether they have the teaching certificate acknowledged by the US and whether they are illegally working there.

风子子01: In respect of the current situation, I don’t wish to see Chinese language teachers rushed abroad as we Chinese also badly need to be nurtured in the traditional Chinese culture.


Confucius Institutes are non-profit public entities sponsored by the Chinese government to mainly teach Putonghua, spread Chinese culture and enable cultural exchanges abroad. The institutes provide teachers or volunteers to hold Confucius classroom in local schools around the world.
Confucius Institutes have cooperations with more than 350 educational institutions in 106 countries around the world, holding more than 500 Confucius classrooms in elementary and secondary schools.

In US, there are 81 Confucius Institutes now and most are affiliated with universities. More than 300 elementary and secondary schools in US have the Confucius classroom.

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•China calls for further cultural exchanges via Confucius Institute
•New Confucius Institute of Graz established in Austria
•Confucius Institute launched in University of Chicago to support research on China

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