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Confucius Institutes

Established in 2004, Confucius Institutes are non-profit public institutions aimed at promoting Chinese language and culture in other countries. Modeled after language and culture promotion organizations from the UK, France, Germany and Spain, China began its own exploration through establishing non-profit public schools called Confucius Institutes which operate within established universities, colleges, and secondary schools around the world, providing funding, teachers and educational materials.

Headquartered in Beijing, the program is overseen by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), a non-profit organization affiliated with China's Ministry of Education and the United Front Work Department. The institutes operate in co-operation with local affiliate colleges and universities, and financing is shared between Hanban and the host institutions to provide the program's teachers and instructional materials. About 60 universities in the United States now host Confucius Institutes or smaller language and cultural centers, which are also in more than 60 other countries.

A policy directive sent by the U.S. Department of State in May 2012 to universities that sponsor Confucius Institutes suggested that the language and cultural centers would have to change how they operate or fall afoul of American visa laws.

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