First annual conference of Confucius Institute US Center held in Washington
On September 24th, local time, the Confucius Institute US Center held its first annual conference and celebrations for the “Confucius Institute Day” in Washington. Around 200 people attended this event, including C. D. Mote, Council Member of Confucius Institute Headquarters and President of US National Academy of Engineering; Morgan Jones, Chief Operating Officer of US-China Strong Foundation; Tony Colley-Foster, President of World Affairs Council in Washington; representatives from the Chinese Embassy in the US, as well as guests from various sectors of the local society.
Guests and award winners posing for a group photo
At the event, 10 outstanding students recommended by Confucius Institutes at the University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, George Mason University, Texas Southern University and University of Delaware as well as the Confucius Institute in Chicago, received their rewards and shared their experience and gains in learning Chinese. Among them, the eldest was 64 years old and the youngest only 12.
C. D. Mote delivering a keynote speech
C. D. Mote, an iconic figure who has participated in and witnessed the twelve years of development of Confucius Institutes in the US, delivered a keynote speech at the conference. He pointed out that Confucius Institutes provide opportunities for people of all countries to strengthen their communication and mutual understanding. He also noted that sufficient connection and partnership must be established among Confucius Institutes, host institutions and local communities so as to ensure the stable growth of Confucius Institutes and establish cross-cultural understanding and respect.
Morgan Jones addressing the event
Tony Colley-Foster addressing the event
In his speech, Morgan Jones, through his own experience, emphasized the importance of language and cultural exchanges between China and the US to enhancing mutual trust between the two countries. Tony Colley-Foster highly commended the achievements by the Confucius Institute US Center and added that “connecting the world needs bridges, and Confucius Institute is just such a bridge.”
Mr. C. D. Mote presenting the award to Timothy Michael Brown
Amid the thunderous applauses, the guests presented medals of Confucius Institute US Center to 10 outstanding students. On behalf of all the recipients, the12-year-old Timothy Michael Brown addressed the audience. As a student at the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland, Timothy started to practice Chinese Wushu at three years old and was sent to learn Chinese at 5 years old by his father, which has continued since then for more than seven years. He said, “I love Chinese language, and I hope I can communicate with more people in this language.”
All the guests present agreed that this event was of great significance and well interpreted the value of Confucius Institutes, which was encouraging. Currently, 110 Confucius Institutes and 498 Confucius Classrooms at primary and secondary schools have been established in 50 states and the Washington D. C. in the US.