The Confucius Institute is a cultural exchange institution established by the Office of the National Leading Group for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language around the world to promote the Chinese language and spread Chinese culture and Sinology education. One of the most important tasks of the Confucius Institute is to provide standard and authoritative modern Chinese teaching materials for Chinese language learners all over the world; to provide the most formal and most important channels for Chinese language teaching. The world's first Confucius Institute was officially established in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on June 15, 2004. As of December 7, 2014, 475 Confucius Institutes and 851 Confucius Classrooms have been established in 126 countries (regions) around the world. There are 475 Confucius Institutes in 120 countries (regions), of which 103 are in 32 countries (regions) in Asia, 42 are in 29 countries in Africa, 159 are in 39 countries in Europe, 154 are in 17 countries in the Americas, and 17 are in 3 countries in Oceania. There are 851 Confucius Classrooms in 65 countries, of which 79 are from 17 Asian countries, 18 are from 13 African countries, and 211 are from 25 European countries. , 478 in 7 countries in the Americas, 65 in 3 countries in Oceania. In May 2012, the United States reviewed the academic qualifications of Confucius Institutes and required some teachers to leave the country. This move caused heated public opinion. In September 2014, the University of Chicago and Pennsylvania State University announced that they would cease cooperation with the Confucius Institute in China. In December 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to whether Confucius Institutes have restricted academic freedom in American universities. The Confucius Institute at Stockholm University, Sweden was closed on June 30, 2015.