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URI ending partnership with Chinese-funded institute

December 18, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island is ending its partnership with a controversial Chinese institute under scrutiny by U.S. intelligence agencies.

There are more than 100 Confucius Institutes on college campuses nationwide. The Chinese government-funded organizations say their mission is to promote Chinese language and culture.

But WPRI-TV reports the FBI is monitoring the institutes and believes China is using them to stifle academic freedom.

FBI officials also told U.S. senators earlier this year they’re concerned China could be using professors and students to collect American intelligence.

URI says it’s dissolving its relationship by the end of May, rather than risk losing federal funding for Chinese language programs.

Universities in Texas, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania have also moved to close institutes in recent years.

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Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com

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