Xi Jinping: Confucius Institutes serve as important platforms to help the world know China
On October 22, 2015 (local time), Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the UK Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms Annual Conference in London.
Accompanied by the Duke of York Prince Andrew of the UK, President Xi Jinping arrived at the site of the opening ceremony, jointly viewing the photo exhibition of achievements of UK Confucius Institutes and Classrooms and watching report-back performances by students from the Institutes and Classrooms. Students sang the song Grateful Heart and recited the poem In Memory of Jiao Yulu--To the Tune of Niannujiao in Chinese, winning rounds of applause from the audience.
President Xi Jinping attending the opening ceremony of the UK Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms Annual Conference in London
President Xi Jinping conducting cordial exchanges with guests at the opening ceremony
President Xi Jinping viewing the photo exhibition of achievements of the UK Confucius Institutes and Classrooms
Xi Jinping pointed out in the speech that for many years, faculty and administrative staff of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have devoted tremendous passion and painstaking efforts to introducing Chinese culture, enhancing people’s heart-to-heart communication and building friendship, and achieved gratifying results. It is such a delight to see that there are so many teachers and students teaching and learning the Chinese language, especially that so many UK students are interested in the Chinese language and culture.
Xi Jinping stressed that language is the best key to understand a country and that Confucius Institutes serve as important platforms to help the world know China. As windows and bridges for linguistic and cultural exchanges between China and the world, the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have played an active role in facilitating people around the world to learn the Chinese language and understand its culture. In addition, they have also made important contributions to China's people-to-people exchanges with the world, as well as the development of a diverse and colorful world civilization.
Xi Jinping pointed out that in recent years, Confucius Institutes in the UK enjoy rapid development. So far, the UK has established 29 Confucius Institutes and 126 Confucius Classrooms, ranking first among the European countries. The fruitful results yielded by the UK Confucius Institutes are an epitome of the booming development of people-to-people exchanges between China and the UK. The essence of Chinese and the UK cultures has brought fantastic "chemical reaction" into both people's way of thinking and lifestyle through people-to-people exchanges. As a Chinese saying goes, one should “be tireless in learning and fatigueless in teaching.” It is hoped that teachers present can keep up the good work and make contributions to the cause of China-UK friendship. He hopes that Confucius Institutes can honor the motto of “Mutual Respect, Friendly Negotiation, Equality and Win-win” to make new and greater contributions to spreading culture, linking hearts and promoting the diversity of world civilizations.
Xi Jinping addressing the opening ceremony of the UK Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms Annual Conference
Prince Andrew noted in his speech that as an old friend of China, he supports the development of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms and encourages more UK children to learn the Chinese language. China is a very important country and the UK-China relationship is also rather crucial. A good command of the Chinese language can contribute to the development of cooperative partnership between the UK and China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Duke of York Prince Andrew unveiling the plaque of the 1000th Confucius Classroom, the Confucius Classroom at Hautlieu School
Afterwards, Xi Jinping and the Duke of York Prince Andrew together unveiled the plaque of the 1000th Confucius Classroom——the Confucius Classroom at Hautlieu School, which will be hosted by Beijing Bayi High School and Hautlieu School of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended the aforementioned events.
(LONDON, October 22, Xinhuanet; Story by Chen Zhi; Photo by Pang Xinglei)