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The 13th Confucius Institute Conference Was Held in Chengdu

  On December 4th, the 13th Confucius Institute Conference was held in Chengdu, gathering more than 1,500 delegates from 154 countries and regions. Ms. Sun Chunlan, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairman of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech.

  Mr. Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education and Vice Chairman of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, presided over the opening ceremony. Mr. Peng Qinghua, Secretary of Sichuan Provincial Committee of the CPC, delivered a speech.

  Ms. Sun Chunlan mentioned that the Chinese government has always acted as a strong supporter for cross-cultural exchanges and for the cooperation between China and foreign countries to establish Confucius Institutes. President Xi Jinping has stressed in various occasions that the Confucius Institutes, as windows and bridges for cross-cultural exchanges in language, serve both China and the world. Thanks to the joint efforts of Chinese and foreign parties, the education qualities of the Confucius Institutes have been improved steadily, which has boosted cultural exchanges and enhanced their service capabilities. In return, these Institutes have made positive contributions to meet the needs of the people from around the world in learning Chinese and to help stimulate practical cooperation in economy and trade.

  Ms. Sun Chunlan pointed out that language plays a unique role in enhancing understanding, building consensus, promoting cooperation, and deepening friendship, thus we should fully tap the role of language to build a community with a shared future for mankind and promote common prosperity and development of all countries. The Confucius Institute should formulate new teaching methods, strengthen the construction of faculty, and improve the quality evaluation system, so as to build itself into an authoritative platform in terms of Chinese teaching. It should carry out rich and colorful cultural activities and employ sinologists as cultural messengers, so as to foster itself as a comprehensive platform for humanistic communication. It should design more "Chinese +" projects, set up courses such as craftsmanship, business, and Chinese medicine specially designed to meet local demands, so as to project itself as a platform for pragmatic cooperation. It should open up to the outside world while running schools and exert each other’s strengths to cultivate more outstanding cross-cultural talents, so as to build itself into a platform for friendly exchanges between countries. Therefore, it will contribute to fostering more foreign friendships for China and to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

  In his speech, Mr. Peng Qinghua extended his warm welcome to the distinguished guests present at the meeting on behalf of the provincial party committee and government. He said that the Confucius Institute played an important role in connecting the people from around the world, and it has acted more as a window and bridge for cross-border exchanges in languages and cultures. Sichuan represents one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. It is equipped with a profound culture and attaches great importance to education. In recent years, Sichuan has been carrying forward the fine traditions of Chinese culture, and supporting universities in Sichuan to establish Confucius Institutes in other countries, which will promote the opening-up of education and deepen China’s exchanges and cooperation with other countries with colleges acting as the “vehicle” and language as the “bridge”. Going forward, we will continue to support the construction of Confucius Institutes, strive to popularize Chinese language and culture, strengthen exchanges of talents, and introduce Chinese culture and Bashu culture to the international community.

  At the opening ceremony, Ms. Sun Chunlan awarded 10 newly established Confucius Institutes. Mr. Keith Burnett, Academician of the Royal Society, Former President of Sheffield University and member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Ms. Liu Hong, President of Dalian University of Foreign Languages, Mr. Isaac Mbeche, Vice President of the University of Nairobi of Kenya, and Dean of the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi, Mr. Dennis Delehanty, a student of the Confucius Institute at George Mason University in the United States, and Ms. Kamila Carter, a student at the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, gave speeches at the ceremony.

  Before the opening ceremony, Ms. Sun Chunlan attended the council meeting at the headquarters to study work deployments of the Confucius Institute.

  Vice Chairman, Executive Director, Foreign Director, Honorary Director of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, relevant leaders of Sichuan Province, responsible persons of the relevant provincial (district, municipal) education departments (committees), and heads of the Chinese sponsors for institutions (organizations) of Confucius Institute, presidents of foreign universities, the Chinese and foreign president of the Confucius Institute, and relevant persons in charge of the embassies or consulates in China, attended the opening ceremony.

 
 
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