Russia to Close Another Confucius Institute

Russia to Close Another Confucius Institute
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像
What you need to know

The Blagoveshchensk City Prosecutor’s Office believes that the Confucius Institute at the Blagoveshchensk State National Normal University violates Russian laws by being registered as a foreign cultural center.

On July 27, prosecutors from the city of Blagoveshchensk demanded in court to close down the Confucius Institute located in a university campus. This is the latest case of Confucius Institutes being closed down all over the world.

Voice of America reports, the Blagoveshchensk City Prosecutor’s Office believes that the Confucius Institute at the Blagoveshchensk State National Normal University violates Russian laws by being registered as a foreign cultural center.

The institute needs to be registered as a non-commercial organization and logged in tax authorities. The prosecutors have demanded the Confucius Institute to stop organizing events. They even labeled the institutes supported by the Chinese government as “foreign agents.”

South China Morning Post reports that prosecutors say the Confucius Institutes are organizations of foreign agents. They also say the institutions are involved in political activities, and the universities that work with them have also received funding from facilities overseas.

Sound of Hope quotes a Russian newspaper, Kommersant, and says the Russian Federal Security Service closed a Confucius Institute in Yakutsk in 2010. The security service accused the education institution for supporting the Chinese government in carrying out their ideology and the expansion of Chinese economy in Russia.

China Review News says, Chinese ambassador Zhao Guo-cheng stresses the Confucius Institute is a language education system established in Russian universities as a collaboration with Chinese universities. They are part of colleges in Russia, and their teaching is carried out under the unified management of the university, which shows they are not “foreign agents."

Translated by Sarah Grasdijk
Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
Voice of America
South China Morning Post
Sound of Hope
China Review News