Palacky University in Olomouc To End Cooperation With Confucius Institute
The Confucius Institute at Palacky University was founded 15 years ago.
Olomouc, Central Moravia, Dec 4 (CTK) – Palacky University in Olomouc has decided to terminate its agreement with the Czech branch of the Confucius Institute, university spokesman Egon Havrlant told Denik N on Friday.
“The university plans to cancel the agreement in January 2023. We announced this to the Chinese side in advance in September,” Havrlant said.
The Confucius Institutes are funded by China. Officially, their aim is to promote Chinese culture, but in the Czech Republic as well as other countries these cultural centres are suspected of being tools of Chinese propaganda. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned against the Confucius Institutes on the grounds of espionage.
The Confucius Institute at Palacky University was founded 15 years ago. Experts from the Czech project Synopsis, which focuses on current Chinese society and Czech-Chinese relations, criticised the university over the move.
The agreement with the Confucius Institute will expire next May and Havrlant said the university may terminate it three months before the expiration. If the agreement were not cancelled, it would be automatically extended until 2028.
The Confucius Institute in Olomouc did not respond to Denik N’s questions about how it will react to the termination of the agreement.
Havrlant said Palacky University decided to cancel this project because it is now focusing on cooperation with other foreign partners, especially the United States, Israel and partner universities in the European alliance Aurora.
He said the termination of the cooperation with the Confucius Institute is also in harmony with the current international and security policy of the Czech state.
In January 2020, the Confucius Institute was established at the private University of Finance and Administration in Prague. Charles University and the University of Economics and Business Prague rejected offers to set up branches in the past.
In August 2020, the United States announced that they would see the agency that runs the Confucius Institutes as a foreign mission of the Chinese government.