Canadian Complaint Raises Questions About Confucius Institutes

A former language teacher at a Confucius Institute based at McMaster University filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario last month that says the university “is giving legitimization to discrimination,” reports The Globe and Mail. The teacher, Sonia Zhao, is a Chinese national who moved to Canada two years ago to work at the institute. After a year, she quit and claimed refugee status in Canada. Ms. Zhao claims that while at the institute, she was forced to hide her membership in Falun Gong, a movement that the Chinese government considers illegal.

In the United States, Confucius Institutes, which are Chinese-government-sponsored language and cultural centers, have generated concerns about academic freedom. In addition, a recent U.S. State Department directive on visas issued to the Chinese teachers has been criticized by American universities.

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