To Tell China Story in Cambodia with the Combination of the “Belt and Road”
--An Exclusive Interview with Xia Xiulong, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia

[Source]    China Youth Daily/China Youth Online [Time]    2017-05-17 13:24:21 

Xia Xiulong, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia giving an exclusive interview to China Youth Online (CYOL).

“What we are doing now is to tell China story and promote cultural exchanges including introducing the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative to Cambodian people.” Xia Xiulong, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia told China Youth Daily and CYOL in his office on the eve of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. To tell China story well, the Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia is devoted to promoting Chinese teaching and introducing China’s present development to local students. “We would like to tell Cambodian people a real China,” Xia Xiulong said.

“The Chinese teaching points of our institute cover a broad range and we even open Chinese classes in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Senate, the Labor Department, the Ministry of National Defense, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, Phnom Penh 70th Brigade and Paratroops. We have also opened Chinese undergraduate programs in Asia Euro University and Mean Chey University. There are also many Chinese teaching points in middle schools, enterprises and associations.” The Chinese teaching in Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and Asia Euro University is very typical.

“We have helped Asia Euro University set up Chinese department, and sent a number of Chinese teachers to undertake teaching tasks. After four years of formal education, students can get bachelor's degree recognized by Cambodia's Ministry of Education. The first batch of students majoring in Chinese graduated last year, and there are more than 240 students studying Chinese at present. We will also set up a four-year program of Chinese Language in Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in September, and plan to recruit 20 students in the first batch, which will cultivate talents with advanced Chinese ability for the military system.”

“Introducing China” is the key task for the Confucius Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia. In Xia Xiulong’s view, the essence of traditional Chinese cultures, such as calligraphy, Beijing opera and martial art, are certainly important, but the current situation of China’s development cannot be ignored as well. It is reported that the institute is making a systematic courseware to introduce the contemporary China, covering more than 20 fields, including economy, transportation, agriculture, city, marriage and family. It is expected to be used in all teaching points in this July, and have more Cambodian people learn contemporary China.

The “Belt and Road” is an indispensable part when talking about the development of China. Director Xia Xiulong said, “In order to let Cambodian people learn the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, the institute introduced the knowledge of the ‘Belt and Road’ early in Cambodia, and have achieved a good effect. Under the support of the Cambodian government and the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, it has also translated the Cambodian version of the book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China.”

On May 29th, 2013, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia spoke highly of the Confucius Institute’s work at the Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Asia held in Cambodia. He said, “The establishment of the Confucius Institute met the needs of all Cambodian communities to understand and cooperate with China.” He also used “Learn Chinese to make friends all over the world” to illustrate the importance of Chinese.

Based on his understanding on the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Chinese companies investing in Cambodia, Xia Xiulong put forward his suggestions and hoped that China’s “Belt and Road” initiative enjoys high popularity in Cambodia and more and more Chinese enterprises are investing in Cambodia. However, relatively speaking, there are only a few Chinese cultural companies and cultural projects which have gone globally. The Confucius Institute has been ahead in this aspect, hoping that more and more Chinese cultural enterprises will go globally in the future.”

Story by Jiang Tian, China Youth Daily, May 5th, 2017, Page 5.