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Chinese universities confirm ACCs still running


Source: Global Times    Published: 2019-1-2

Some Chinese universities refuted a US media report on Wednesday that claimed China thwarted on-campus American Cultural Centers (ACC), saying that their relevant institutes remain open and active.

US media said recently that the American cultural centers in some Chinese universities, including the University of Shanghai for Technology and Science, have closed after Chinese authorities denied American officials entry to these universities and state security agents interrogated an American academic working on a Chinese campus.

The report also noted the reason that universities turned down the centers was a rise in nationalist sentiment in China and a campaign against Western values.

However, the University of Shanghai for Technology and Science denied the closure of its American cultural center with the Global Times.

"The center is still operating and holds various student activities," a spokesperson of the university's international affairs office told the Global Times on Wednesday.

And an employee of its marketing department, surnamed Dong, added that "due to final examinations of students and year-end summaries of departments, the center's activities are suspended temporarily."

Dong emphasized that the center is a cooperation and communication project between the school and the University of North Dakota.

The International Student Affair Office of Guangzhou University also said that the American Cultural Centers is running normally and is being managed by the university's School of Foreign Studies.

"It is like a kind of school association," the employee told the Global Times.

The center for Guangzhou University hosted the 3rd American Cultural Knowledge Competition for American Cultural Centers in China in December 2017, in order to improve cultural exchange among universities of China and the US, as well as promote students' knowledge of American society and culture.

Besides these two universities, Shandong University, which is located in the hometown of Confucius, told the Global Times that the university has been holding interschool activities with US universities, such as seminars and professors' visits. "These activities are mainly academic communications," said an employee from the university's Department of International Affairs.

"China always hails advanced culture around the world," Wang Yiwei, director of Renmin University of China's Institute of International Affairs, told the Global Times on Wednesday, warning that the US should not grasp at shadows and hype fake news.

Since 2010, the US Public Affairs Section disbursed $5.1 million in grants to support 29 partnerships which are known as American Cultural Centers between US educational institutions and Chinese universities, in order to promote a greater understanding of US culture and policies through outreach to Chinese students and the general public, according to a report published by US Office of Inspector General in December 2017.

Wang Yiwei is a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.

Key Words: China   US   culture   Wang Yiwei  

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