A Model Confucius Institute inaugurated at Sofia University, Bulgaria
On September 8th, 2015 (local time), the inaugural ceremony of the Model Confucius Institute at Sofia University, Bulgaria, was held in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria. Nearly 300 representatives from China and Bulgaria attended the occasion, including Mr. Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria; Mdm. Xu Lin, Director General of Hanban and Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters; Mr. Wei Jinghua, Chinese Ambassador to Bulgaria; and directors of Confucius Institutes in Europe. Bulgarian President Mr. Rosen Plevneliev also sent a congratulatory letter to the official inauguration of the new teaching building for the Confucius Institute at Sofia University.
While addressing the event, Mr. Borisov said that in early 2014, President Plevneliev reached a consensus with the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to China on strengthening Bulgaria-China educational and cultural cooperation and supporting the development of Confucius Institutes. Nowadays, tens of thousands of people in Bulgaria have chosen to learn Chinese and they have contributed to the Bulgaria-China and Europe-China collaboration and exchange. Currently, with the sound development of Bulgaria-China trade ties and cultural relations, this new Model Confucius Institute will make more contributions to the bilateral relations and the Bulgarian Government will continue to support the development of the Confucius Institute.
The new teaching building of the Model Confucius Institute
When addressing the event, Mdm. Xu Lin said that Bulgaria is one of the first countries in Central and Eastern Europe to offer Chinese language teaching. In 1952, Chinese linguist Mr. Zhu Dexi started Bulgaria’s Chinese language teaching in Sofia. Bulgarian doctor. J. Kanetti and his wife Ms. Zhang Sunfen, once contributors to the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, have devoted their whole lifetime to the Chinese language teaching in Bulgaria.
Mdm. Xu Lin also remarked that after ten years of development since its establishment, the Confucius Institute at Sofia University has already become one of the Confucius Institutes with the greatest influence and achievements in Central and Eastern Europe and even the world. She commended the Confucius Institute’s active response to China’s “One Belt, One Road” Initiative. It has held the International Conference on “The Silk Road” for three consecutive years and translated a number of famous Chinese literary works, setting a shining example for Confucius Institutes across the globe.
The inauguration ceremony of the Model Confucius Institute at Sofia University
Bulgarian President Plevneliev said in his congratulatory letter that the inauguration of the Model Confucius Institute at Sofia University is the fruit of successful Bulgaria-China cooperation. This Confucius Institute has become a vital education center in Bulgaria, a great contributor to disseminating Chinese culture through teaching the Chinese language, and an active facilitator in the friendly cooperation between Bulgaria and China.
The library of the Model Confucius Institute at Sofia University
This Confucius Institute at Sofia University was jointly established by Sofia University and Beijing Foreign Studies University in 2006. After ten years of pioneering work, it has a larger scale and higher teaching quality, and it has become one of the most influential and outstanding Confucius Institutes in Central and Eastern Europe and even the world. As one of world’s first 14 to be named as Model Confucius Institute, it is Europe’s first Model Confucius to be officially inaugurated.