Speech Made at the Welcome Ceremony at the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University

[Source]    Hanban [Time]    2011-12-27 10:14:45 

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping

December 24, 2011

Respected President Pirom Kamolratanakul, teachers and students:

I am very happy to have this opportunity to come and see all of you at the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University. Chulalongkorn University is the most prestigious institute of higher education in Thailand, possessing a long history of 94 years. Since the school’s founding, you have cultivated a large number of talented individuals in the fields of Thai politics, economics, technology and culture. I am also aware that Princess Sirindhorn, who commands great respect among the people of Thailand, graduated from the Faculty of Arts of this university. As I entered the university campus today and visited classrooms replete with the feel of Chinese culture, the strong atmosphere of Sino-Thai cultural exchange left a deep impression on me.

China and Thailand have enjoyed over a thousand years of friendly relations as close neighbors, and the peoples of both countries commonly share feelings like those of a family, and it is the common desire of the peoples of both China and Thailand to pass down Sino-Thai friendship for generations to come. On the occasion of the Thai people overcoming the serious flooding, I have traveled along the path of the traditional friendship between our two countries to visit Thailand, bringing with me the sincere condolences of the Chinese people, and I also bring with me the sincere desire of the Chinese government to develop Sino-Thai friendship and cooperation. Over the past two days, I met with Princess Sirindhorn and have come into contact with Prime Minister Yingluck and other government and parliament leaders as well as friends from all sections of society, exchanging views on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern, and the visit was a complete success. I believe that China and Thailand will forever live in harmony, and that the two countries are good neighbors, good partners, good friends, and good relatives who always stand together in times of need.

Cultural exchanges are an important bond which enhances understanding between peoples of all nations. I am happy to see the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University persistently forging ahead, currently offering very unique courses in Chinese language, calligraphy, painting, martial arts, music, and dance, Chinese language conferences and lectures on Chinese culture. These rich and varied activities have received widespread attention from young students and all sections of society, and have played an important role in deepening the traditional friendship between the peoples of China and Thailand. I express my deepest congratulations to you on your praiseworthy achievements and express my sincerest gratitude for the important contributions you have made in teaching Chinese and spreading Chinese culture.

Twelve days ago at the 6th Confucius Institute Conference held in Beijing, recipients were presented with the Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence Award and the Award for Outstanding Contributions, exchanged the heartening achievements of Confucius Institutes in international Chinese education in the eight years since their founding, and put forward newer and greater requirements to better improve the operations of Confucius Institutes. I hope that the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University will take this opportunity to fully play a role as a comprehensive platform for cultural exchanges, and make new contributions to advancing friendship and understanding between the peoples of China and Thailand, promoting equal cooperation and mutual benefit between China and Thailand, and promoting mutual studying and borrowing between different human civilizations

Youths are the future of a country, and the hope of a nation, and Princess Sirindhorn personally inscribed the Chinese saying for “the burden is heavy and the road is long” to reflect her earnest expectations for the young generation. Youths of China and Thailand shoulder the burden of the historically important task of carrying forward and developing Sino-Thai friendship, and I hope that Thai youths will widely persevere in studying and mastering Chinese language and culture, never ceasing to advance their understanding and knowledge of China, and to protect, carry forth, and advance Sino-Thai friendship for generations to come.

Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt wish for Chulalongkorn University to make continual progress in its development, and I also wish for the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University to continue improving as it carries on with its operations.

Thank you!