Chinese State Councilor Mdm. Liu Yandong Attends the Unveiling Ceremony of Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster
Chinese State Councilor Mdm. Liu Yandong (third from the right), Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson (third from the left) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (second from the left) jointly unveil the plaque for the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the UK on April 13, 2012. Chinese Education Minister Yuan Guiren (second from the right) and Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming are also present at the Unveiling Ceremony. (Photographer: Yin Gang, Reporter of Xinhua News Agency)
Chinese State Councilor Mdm. Liu Yandong attends the Unveiling Ceremony of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster and visits the Confucius Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on April 13, 2012.
Chinese State Councilor Mdm. Liu Yandong attends the Unveiling Ceremony of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland on April 13, 2012. Teachers and students of the Institute welcome Chinese distinguished guests with exquisite traditional songs and dances of China and Northern Ireland at the Ceremony.
Belfast, UK, April 13 (Xinhuanet) (Reporter: Wang Yahong and Luo Jun) Chinese State Councilor Mdm. Liu Yandong attended the Unveiling Ceremony of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster, visited the Queen's University Belfast and exchanged views with teachers and students of the university on April 13 during her visit to the United Kingdom.
Mdm. Liu Yandong indicated that China-UK high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism represents the first of its kind established between China and an EU member, which is beneficial for both countries to enhance understanding, learn from each other and entrench the public support for Sino-UK friendship. It will become one of the top three pillars for Sino-UK relationship together with political mutual trust, economic cooperation and trade.
Mdm. Liu Yandong noted that educational exchanges are fundamental for people-to-people exchanges. According to her, China's Education Development Plan will put broad cooperation high on the agenda and enhance cooperation with overseas top-notch universities to jointly cultivate excellent talents with international exposure. She hopes that universities of both countries can boost exchanges among teachers and students, draw upon philosophy of schooling from each other, work together to build R&D platform, share quality resources, and constantly elevate the standard of personnel training, scientific research, public service, and cultural promotion and innovation.
Mdm. Liu indicated that language serves as a forerunner for people-to-people exchanges and a tool to make friends and enhance cooperation. At the moment, over 500 primary and secondary schools in the UK offer Chinese language classes and the UK is home to 19 Confucius Institutes, ranking the first in the Europe. Chinese Government provides support for learning Chinese and running the Confucius Institute well, so that it can evolve into a platform for people-to-people exchanges, a channel for civilization exchanges and mutual learning, and a carrier to promote peace, friendship and cooperation. She also hopes that sincere cooperation, exchanges and exploration between both sides can make a unique contribution to advancing people-to-people exchanges.
Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and other high-ranking officials kept Mdm. Liu accompany, speaking highly of the great achievements scored by China in socio-economic development and expressing expectation on boosting pragmatic cooperation with China. Educational cooperation between both countries enjoys huge potential and the Confucius Institute will develop into an important stage for cultural exchanges between Northern Ireland and China and a significant bridge for friendship consolidation.
Accompanied by Chinese Education Minister Yuan Guiren and Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming, Mdm. Liu Yandong launched the Confucius Institute with Northern Ireland's leaderships. Teachers and students of the Institute welcomed Chinese distinguished guests with Chinese and Northern Irish music and dancing.