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quinta-feira, 30 de outubro de 2014

A China seria um Estado autocratico?: canadenses de Toronto dizem que sim...

Sinosphere
Toronto School District Cancels Plans for Confucius Institute
By AUSTIN RAMZY
Canada’s largest school district moved to terminate its agreement with the institute, which would have offered after-school Chinese language and culture classes, over concerns about China’s human rights record and restrictions on academic freedom.

Parece que tem gente que não concorda em manter relações as usual...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Toronto School District Cancels Plans for Confucius Institute

Photo
In early 2011, Hu Jintao, left, who was president of China at the time, visited a Confucius Institute at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago. The program has entered partnerships with hundreds of schools and universities around the world.Credit Pool photo by Chris Walker
The Toronto District School Board’s vote to cancel plans for a Confucius Institute marks the latest setback for China’s language- and culture-based soft-power initiative.
Canada’s largest school district moved on Wednesday to terminate its agreement with the institute, which would have offered after-school Chinese language and culture classes, over concerns about China’s human rights record and restrictions on academic freedom.
The decision followed months of debate, with groups including Tibetan exiles and members of the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement banned in China, arguing that the program be stopped on grounds that it would give the Chinese government undue influence over local education. Others, including members of the local Chinese community, argued in favor of the language-learning opportunities the program would have provided and said politics would not play a part.
The board’s decision seemed likely after a committee of its members voted earlier this month to recommend that the district end the agreement. Its Chinese partner, the Hunan Provincial Department of Education, moved last week to sever the deal after Toronto board members’ intentions became clear, The Toronto Star reported.
The nonprofit Confucius Institutes have been set up under the direction of the Hanban, which is affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education. The 10-year-old program has opened 465 institutes and more than 700 smaller Confucius Classrooms around the world. In recent years, it has seen increasing resistance from partner schools, particularly in the United States and Canada, over concerns that the institutes restrict discussion of issues considered sensitive by the Chinese government.
The Toronto decision follows an Oct. 1 move by Pennsylvania State University to end its Confucius Institute partnership. Penn State’s decision came less than a week after the University of Chicago said it was suspending negotiations over the renewal of its Confucius Institute, citing an interview with the Hanban’s director general, Xu Lin, in which she touted her tough negotiating style.
Concerns about Confucius Institutes have run particularly strong in Canada. McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, ended its program last year after a former teaching assistant filed a human rights complaint alleging that the Confucius Institute discriminated against her belief in Falun Gong. The University of Sherbrooke in Quebec also ended its Confucius Institute agreement last year.
This summer, the American Association of University Professors issued a letter calling on schools to cut ties with Confucius Institutes or revise their agreements, saying they “function as an arm of the Chinese state and are allowed to ignore academic freedom.”
In a commentary on Thursday, the state-run China Daily newspaper accused opponents of Confucius Institutes of having “a deep bias against China.”
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