Czech-Chinese Centre at Charles University to be closed down

The Czech-Chinese Centre at Charles University is to be closed down on the orders of the university’s rector Tomáš Zima.

The university has been embroiled in a scandal over secret Chinese payments to four of its faculty members, amid concerns that Beijing is using the centre to boost its influence in the Czech academic sphere.

The university fired the head of the university’s Centre for Security Policy, and two other members of the Social Sciences faculty last week after it emerged that they had set up a private fund through which the Chinese embassy paid for conferences co-organised by the university centre.

Rector Zima said he would not stand by and watch the centre damage the university’s reputation. Charles University is the oldest university in Central Europe.