New Year Greetings
With a farewell to the Year of Sheep, we will ring in an auspicious New Year, the Year of Monkey. On the occasion of the Spring Festival, on behalf of Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), I would like to express my New Year greetings to all directors, teachers and volunteers working diligently at Confucius Institutes across the globe and students of Confucius Institutes in various countries!
The year of 2015 marks the conclusion of “12th Five Year Plan” and has seen remarkable achievements in the development of Confucius Institutes. While attending the UK Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms Annual Conference, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech, in which he hailed Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms as “important platforms to help the world know about China”, “active facilitators for people around the world to learn the Chinese language and understand its culture” and also “important contributors to global cultural diversity.” His speech has tremendously boosted the morale of the faculty and administrative staff of Confucius Institutes all over the world, identified the way ahead for Confucius Institutes, and injected great impetus into their development.
In 2015, Confucius Institutes have been established in more countries. Up to date, we have established 502 Confucius Institutes and 1,013 Confucius Classrooms in 137 countries, with a total of 1.4 million registered students and 0.5 million online Confucius Institute learners. While serving the “Belt and Road” Initiative, Confucius Institutes cater to new demand and push for integration. We have seen improved quality of education, better models of operation, enhanced cultural and people-to-people exchanges, greater attraction and strengthened cohesion. All these gratifying results embody the concern and support on the part of the governments and people of various countries as well as the tremendous passion and painstaking efforts by all faculty and administrative staff of Confucius Institutes around the world. Please allow me to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all the friends who support and participate in the development of Confucius Institutes.
“Spring in the air I can feel / when strolling by the riverside. By climbing up a ragged hill / I enjoy a view far and wide.” Since the year of 2016 marks the first year of the 13th Five-Year Plan, we, standing at this new historical starting point, should bear in our mind our mission and make continuous and concerted efforts to make greater contributions to popularizing Chinese culture, linking hearts and minds and promoting the diversity of world cultures!
Wish you and your family a happy Spring Festival, good health and career success!
Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters
Director General of Hanban
Feb. 6th, 2016