2011 “Chinese Bridge – Trip of American Primary and Secondary School Principals to China: New Development” Smoothly Launched
As invited by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, 420 American primary and secondary school principals and education officials from 45 U.S. states attended the Initiative of “Chinese Bridge – Trip of American Primary and Secondary School Principals to China: New Development.” The grand welcoming ceremony was held on November 6 by Hanban at the Shangri-la Hotel with the participation of Xu Lin, Director of Hanban and Director-General of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, and Wang Xiaomin, Deputy Curator of the United States Embassy in China, who also delivered speeches. Then, performers from the Beijing Dance Academy and the Central Conservatory of Music provided an excellent entertainment program.
In her speech, Ms. Xu Lin pointed out that language represents the carrier of culture and the bridge of communication. With the enthusiastic expectations of launching language and cultural exchanges with all countries of the world, China has been actively joining forces with the rest of the world in establishing Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, which have already become the platform for the integration of Chinese culture with the diverse cultures of the world. At present, more than 1,000 universities in the U.S. offer Chinese language majors and over 4,000 primary and secondary schools have offered Chinese language courses with the registration of over 100,000 students in Confucius Classrooms to learn Chinese. And learning Chinese has emerged as a trend among American youths. Going forward, Hanban is set to provide teaching materials and staff, among other forms of continuous assistance for American primary and secondary schools as a way of promoting the booming development of Chinese language learning across the United States. Ms. Xu also noted that with concerted efforts, language and cultural exchanges between China and the U.S. will surely erect a bridge for the two peoples, in particular the next generation, to better understand each other and develop a sound friendship.
In April 2010, Chinese and American government officials kick-started the project “Chinese Bridge”- 10,000 American people coming to China for Chinese learning - in the first round of the high-level China-U.S. Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. This trip is an important part of the project to facilitate educational exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
The American delegation includes officials from the College Board, superintendents of schools of various states and Independent School Districts, inspectors for foreign language learning and primary and secondary school principals, for most of whom it is their first trip to China. After attending two-day long activities in Beijing, the delegation will visit 7 provinces and municipalities to partake in local education forums and exchange views with students and teachers of local schools.