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McMaster U. Will Close Confucius Institute

McMaster University, in Ontario, plans to close its Confucius Institute this summer, after a former language instructor there filed a human-rights complaint asserting that the university was “giving legitimization to discrimination” at the language-and-cultural center, reports The Globe and Mail.

The instructor, Sonia Zhao, began teaching at the institute in 2011, but quit a year later after saying she had been forced to conceal her support of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that the Chinese government considers dangerous. McMaster will close the institute in July, when its contract expires.

Authorities in China have defended the controversial, Chinese-government-sponsored Confucius Institutes, which have come under fire in the United States for what critics say are violations of academic freedom.

A McMaster spokeswoman told the newspaper that the move had been motivated by hiring decisions, which she said had been made in China. Those choices “didn’t reflect the way the university would do hiring,” she said.

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