Madam Liu Yandong: Like Chinese knots and Olympic rings, Confucius Institutes belong to both China and the world
On August 3rd, local time, Madam Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, visited the Confucius Institute at Sao Paulo State University before attending the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Vice Premier Liu Yandong receiving a warm welcome upon arriving at the Confucius Institute
Upon arriving at the Confucius Institute, Madam Liu Yandong received a warm welcome from Julio Cezar Durigan, Rector of Sao Paulo State University ; Mr. Luis Antonio Paulino, Director of the Confucius Institute; as well as teachers and students of the Confucius Institute. With great interest, Madam Liu viewed the photo exhibition of achievements of the Confucius Institute, visited classrooms and the library, conducted cordial exchanges with teachers and students, and watched the performance by the students.
Vice Premier Liu Yandong hugging a child among the welcoming crowd upon arriving at the Confucius Institute
Madam Liu Yandong noted, “Not long ago, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and I all received a letter full of passion written by Director Luis Antonio Paulino and some 30 students including a student named Andre of the Confucius Institute. In their letter, the students told us about their Chinese language learning experiences and showcased the remarkable teaching achievements by the Confucius Institute. We were all deeply moved by the students’ enthusiasm in learning Chinese, desire to know more about China and sincere affection towards China and the Chinese people. Today, entrusted by President Xi Jinping, I came here to visit you. I hope to take this opportunity to convey to you the cordial greetings and good wishes from President Xi and Premier Li”.
Vice Premier Liu Yandong delivering her speech during her visit
According to Madam Liu Yandong, China and Brazil, as the largest developing country in the Eastern and Western hemispheres respectively, are important partners in cooperation and development. People of the two countries enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. The successful visits to Brazil by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have promoted the sustained and in-depth development of China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, in more extensive fields and on a wider platform. Currently, the two countries share increasingly closer exchanges and cooperation in such fields as education, technology and culture. Brazil, with its “Chinese language fever” on the increase, has become the Latin American country to host the most Confucius Institutes and Classrooms. Around 20,000 registered students are studying at ten Confucius Institutes and four Confucius Classrooms, and many primary and secondary schools start to incorporate Chinese into their formal curriculum. In China, an increasing number of young people choose to learn Portuguese and around 30 universities offer Portuguese language courses. All these mentioned above have played an indispensable role in promoting friendship between Chinese and Brazilian people. She also hoped that Confucius Institutes would highlight their unique features, integrate resources and explore potentials to promote the communication and coordination among them and that between Chinese and overseas enterprises and social organizations, enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and consolidate the public opinion on bilateral ties. She also hoped that through learning Chinese, students would learn more about the Chinese culture and develop mutual understanding of and friendship with Chinese people, especially the young Chinese people, so as to carry forward the friendship between people of the two countries, participate in China-Brazil pragmatic cooperation and promote the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.
Vice Premier Liu Yandong taking a group photo with teachers and students of the Confucius Institute at Sao Paulo State University
Madam Liu also presented Chinese knots to the attending teachers and students of the Confucius Institute as gifts and explained her hopes that Confucius Institutes, which belong to both China and the world, would be like Chinese knots, representing sincere cooperation, common efforts, unity and happiness between China and foreign countries. They would also be like the Olympic rings, which represent peace and friendship.
Julio Cezar Durigan and Luis Antonio Paulino stressed that the Confucius Institutes had become an important link in the cultural exchanges between China and Brazil and a strategic platform in promoting friendship and cooperation between the two countries. This visit by Vice Premier Liu Yandong, which was entrusted by President Xi Jinping, was a great honor to the Confucius Institute at Sao Paulo State University and the best reward for the teachers and students committed to the Brazil-China friendship over the past eight years since the establishment of the Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute would continue its endeavors to lead the Brazil-China cultural and people-to-people exchanges and promote the in-depth development of the relations between the two countries.
(SAO PAULO, August 3, China News Service; By Mo Chengxiong)
(Photos by Han Yan from Xinhua New Agency; Mo Chengxiong from China News Service)