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Confucius Institute at University of Arizona will close

February 27, 2020 GMT

A University of Arizona program dedicated to teaching Mandarin and providing Chinese cultural education opportunities will close, university officials said.

The university cited unspecified “changes in federal laws and policy” for the decision to close a branch of the Confucius Institute in Tucson on July 31, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The program brought Chinese culture to university and public school students and educated community members by teaching Mandarin, health and wellness and performing arts since it was established in 2007, officials said. Its headquarters is based in Beijing, China.

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“To our partners in China and from our local community, and to Chinese teachers, CIUA staff and volunteers who have worked at CIUA, we are deeply indebted for their immeasurable contributions and dedication to the outstanding Chinese language and cultural program,” university officials said in a statement.

The change won’t affect the Chinese Language program for the university’s Department of East Asian Studies, officials said.

“We will work with the Confucius Institute Headquarters to identify other institutions or nonprofits in Tucson or southern Arizona that might be interested in hosting a Confucius Institute,” the statement said.

Program activities, including language classes at public schools, are expected to continue for the remaining academic year, officials said.

Arizona State University and universities in other states such as Kentucky, Kansas and Maryland have previously announced plans to cut ties with the Confucius Institute.