Joint Conference of North American and Oceanian Confucius Institutes held in Honolulu, Hawaii, the US

[Source]    Hanban [Time]    2015-07-06 16:36:48

On June 21, 2015, the Joint Conference of North American and Oceanian Confucius Institutes was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, with “Sustainable Development of the Confucius Institute” as its theme. A total of over 280 delegates, including presidents of Chinese and foreign universities and Chinese and local directors of over 130 Confucius Institutes in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, attended this conference. Guests attending the opening ceremony and delivering their speeches were C. D. Mote, President of US National Academy of Engineering (NAE); Neil Abercrombie, Former Governor of Hawaii; Calvin Say, Speaker Emeritus of the Hawaii State House of Representatives; Madam Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director General of Hanban; Liu Jian, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles; and Peng Long, President of Beijing Foreign Studies University. US Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono sent a congratulatory letter to the conference.

In their congratulatory letter, the Senators highly commended the Confucius Institute for its support in Chinese language teaching and cultural communication, which strengthens the mutual understanding and friendship between the people in China and the US and among the people of different countries across the world. While addressing the opening ceremony, both the Former Governor of Hawaii and Speaker Emeritus of the Hawaii State House of Representatives praised the Confucius Institute for its contributions to China as well as the whole world and mankind.

C. D. Mote, President of NAE and the Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, pointed out in his speech that the Confucius Institute helps various countries get to know China which has 20% of the world population and is of great significance for building a healthy, prosperous, secure and highly-connected world. With unparalleled charm, the Confucius Institute achieves rapid development by offering diversified services that suit local conditions in host countries and providing host universities and communities with a cultural balance. He also proposed six suggestions, namely, keeping offering more support and investment to the Confucius Institute from both China and the host countries; further integrating the Confucius Institute into local communities so as to win more trust and support; upholding the missions and objectives of the Confucius Institute and adhering to cooperation between Chinese and foreign institutions as the basis of agreement; mutually respecting each other’s culture and sensitivity; strengthening mutual visit and exchange between the personnel from Chinese and foreign institutions; and conducting rational assessment.

While addressing the ceremony, Madam Xu Lin stated that the Confucius Institute is a promising and just cause and we should do our job well with sufficient reasons and full confidence. After ten years of development, the Confucius Institute is now at the key crossing. The direction for its future development can be summarized as “meeting local needs and interests, developing distinctive features”. It should also forge its core competitiveness and keep improving its quality and level of running the Institutes so as to build Chinese language teaching as the permanent base for the Confucius Institute. The Chinese partner institutions should attach great significance to their co-established Confucius Institutes and recruit capable and highly qualified personnel for the Confucius Institutes.

A President Forum on the theme of “Contributions of Confucius Institutes to University Development” was also held during the conference, in which Steven Knapp, President of the George Washington University; Robert Bley-Vroman, Chancellor of University of Hawaii at Mānoa; Sidney A. McPhee, President of Middle Tennessee State University; and Roseann Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University in Canada, delivered their speeches.

At the conference, Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell issued a proclamation that declared June 21 on which this joint conference was held as the Confucius Institute Day.


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