Consolidate consensus among Confucius Institutes and boost development of “Belt and Road” Initiative
——2016 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Central Asia and South Caucasus held
On June 20th and 21st, the “2016 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Central Asia and South Caucasus”, sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and organized by the Confucius Institute at Bishkek Humanities University in Kyrgyzstan, was held in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Guests attending the conference and delivering speeches were Vice Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Gulmira Kudaiberdieva, Kalysbek Shadyhanov, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan; Qi Dayu, Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan; Liang Chao, CPC Secretary of the Education Commission and Education Department of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; and Xia Jianhui, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director General of Hanban. Around 130 delegates from such countries as Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia attended this conference, including presidents of universities hosting Confucius Institutes, Chinese and local directors of Confucius Institutes, directors of Confucius Classrooms, as well as representatives from various social sectors. The opening ceremony of the conference was hosted by Rector of Bishkek Humanities University Abdylda Musayev.
Vice Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Gulmira Kudaiberdieva delivering her speech at the event
In her speech at the opening ceremony, Gulmira Kudaiberdieva pointed out that Kyrgyzstan has been attaching significance to developing its friendship and partnership with China over recent years. She added that Confucius Institutes, while popularizing the Chinese language and culture, had played a crucial role in enhancing traditional friendship between people of the two countries. She hoped that Confucius Institutes would make continuous efforts to contribute more to writing a new chapter of China-Kyrgyzstan cultural exchanges.
Mr. Qi Dayu, Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, making remarks at the event
Speaking at the event, Mr. Qi Dayu noted, “This conference not only serves as a grand gathering for the big family of Confucius Institutes within this region, but also provides a good opportunity for us to share experience in the development of Confucius Institutes, fully showcasing the vigor and vitality of Confucius Institutes. With the strong support and coordination from governments and education departments of the two countries, Confucius Institutes have devoted diligent efforts in education and organized a variety of cultural exchange events, enabling them to use language as a medium to serve as a ‘bridge of friendship’ to promote cultural exchanges and connect people’s hearts between China and Kyrgyzstan.”
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Kalysbek Shadyhanov stressed that Kyrgyzstan always attached special significance to education and the Confucius Institute had made important contributions to the education of Kyrgyzstan. He noted that the Ministry of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan would provide stronger support and work in concert with the Confucius Institute to ensure the sound development of Chinese language teaching of the Confucius Institute in Kyrgyzstan.
Liang Chao, CPC Secretary of Education Commission and Education Department of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, speaking at the event
Sharing with other delegates his own understanding of and views on the development of Confucius Institutes, Mr. Liang Chao emphasized three points. Firstly, Confucius Institutes are one of the major forces driving the development of the “Belt and Road” Initiative; secondly, Confucius Institutes will strengthen their efforts to adapt to local characteristics; thirdly, Xinjiang will continue to offer its support to the Chinese partner institutions of Confucius Institutes.
Xia Jianhui, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director General of Hanban, addressing the event
In his speech, Mr. Xia Jianhui extended his sincere gratitude to Vice Prime Minister Gulmira Kudaiberdieva and the government of Kyrgyzstan for their great concern and strong support to Confucius Institutes. He noted that since the world’s first Confucius Institute established in Uzbekistan in 2004, along with the deepening friendly exchanges and pragmatic cooperation with China, Central Asia and South Caucasus had witnessed a rapid development of Confucius Institutes. Serving as a bridge of connecting hearts between people of the two sides, these Confucius Institutes have become a broad platform for cooperation in various fields and made pivotal contributions to enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship between people of all countries in this region.
With “Opportunities and Challenges facing Confucius Institutes under the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative” as its theme, this Conference, standing at a new starting point and keeping up with the new trend of development, hopes to seize new development opportunities and jointly summarize and share successful experience. At the same time, it will draw on the collective wisdom to conduct in-depth analysis of problems and challenges facing Confucius Institutes so as to offer advice and suggestions to long-term and sustainable development of Confucius Institutes. Confucius Institutes in Central Asia and South Caucasus, with geographical proximity, share the same language and similar features and should strengthen regional cooperation to further integrate resources, collaborate in innovative endeavors and seek co-development.
A group photo of delegates at the 2016 Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Central Asia and South Caucasus
In this two-day event, delegates conducted discussions through plenary sessions, experience sharing sessions and panel discussions on future development suitable for Confucius Institutes in Central Asia and South Caucasus, covering a wide spectrum of issues, such as opportunities and challenges facing Confucius Institutes under the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, regional cooperation and resource sharing among Confucius Institutes, training and cultivation of local teachers, planning and organization of cultural exchange events, and cooperation between Confucius Institutes and enterprises.
The delegates all agreed that they had benefited greatly from this conference, which was of high efficiency and practical value and achieved sound effects. It will certainly play a great role in promoting the Confucius Institutes to adapt to local demands while taking into consideration the local characteristics, enhancing their teaching quality and cultural influence, as well as assisting the development of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. They also expressed their hopes that Confucius Institute Headquarters would host more such events of sharing and discussion in the future.
Guests attending the opening ceremony also included several representatives from government agencies such as Director of Foreign Policy Office of the President Office of Kyrgyzstan, Deputy Director of Foreign Affairs Office of the President Office of Kyrgyzstan, and former Kyrgyz Ambassador to China.