China expands language institutes at US colleges

October 30, 2009 4:20:09 AM PDT
A growing number of universities in the U.S. and around the world are partnering with Chinese universities to provide language instruction.China's Confucius Institutes provide universities with faculty to teach Mandarin and increase awareness about Chinese culture. China also provides initial funding.

There are nearly 60 of the institutes nationwide and some 396 globally.

Unlike France's Alliance Francaise and Germany's Goethe Institutes, the Confucius Institutes are largely hosted at universities. That, and funding from the Chinese government, has left some skeptical about whether they'll infringe on a university's academic freedom.

China observers see the institutes as part of the country's efforts to reshape its image in a more positive light.

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