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New visa policy sets barriers for Confucius Institutes in US (4)

By Wen Xian, Zhang Yang and Zhengqi (People's Daily)

16:23, May 25, 2012

U.S. Public emphasizes communication

Wei Wei coming from China is a teacher teaching the Chinese language to the grade one to grade five of the John Newton Elementary School in Washington. She told the People's Daily that, the parents of the pupils all wish the school to continue giving the Chinese language course and other teachers of the school are also cooperative to the Chinese language education, because they have realized that since the economic development of China is rapid, the Chinese language will be a very useful communication tool.

An official from the Confucius Institute under the George Mason University said that he hopes the new regulation issued by the U.S. State Department does not involve political considerations. After all, the "100,000 Strong Initiative" of sending students to study in China, proposed by the U.S. President Barack Obama, encourages U.S. students to study the Chinese language.

An official from the Confucius Institute Headquarters said that China and the United States have established the cultural exchange mechanism and the "100,000 Strong Initiative" is an important part of it. The Chinese government supports the initiative very much. In order to promote the implementation of the initiative, China's Hanban subsidized 10,000 teachers and students of the "100,000" to come to China. The people who offered services in recruiting these 10,000 teachers and students are just the Chinese teachers whom the U.S. State Department ordered to leave by June 30.

According to sources, presidents of the universities involved dislike showed strong dissatisfaction to the announcement made by the U.S. State Department, believing that it interferes with the schools' freedom of education. They are contacting and negotiating with the U.S. State Department. Facing the strong queries, officials of the U.S. State Department will go to the University of Maryland and communicate with the authority of the university and the officials of the Confucian Institute face to face.

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