Spoken Chinese Training Workshop for Members of National Legislative Assembly Held in Thailand,
Communicating in Chinese Cements the Friendship between China and Thailand

[Source]    People's Daily [Time]    2018-01-29 17:45:59 

“Chinese language is playing an increasingly important role in international communication and mastering it is of great significance to my work.” Those were the remarks by National Legislative Assembly of Thailand member Danula to a journalist covering the opening ceremony of the Spoken Chinese Training Workshop for Members of National Legislative Assembly(NLA), which is jointly organized by the Secretariat of the Senate and the Confucius Institute at Kasetsart University (hereafter referred to as CIKU) and held at the building of the NLA on January 23rd.

Courses and teaching materials were tailored for the members of NLA in this workshop to enable them to master words and expressions of greetings and reception in high-level visits as well as oral expressions of China’s local conditions and customs, politics, economy and so on, all of which enhanced their understanding and knowledge on Chinese culture and policies such as the “Belt and Road” initiative. Twenty members of NLA participated in the workshop.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Liu Jian said, “Against the backdrop of China’s proposition of the “Belt and Road” initiative and the active promotion of the economic strategy of Thailand 4.0 by Thailand, high-level visits between the two countries become more important to policy communication.” Ambassador Liu also expressed that using Chinese language in exchanges and visits by the members of NLA can yield unexpected results in enhancing understanding, making friendly contacts and strengthening communication as well as further the cooperation between China and Thailand in legislation.

With the ever closer exchanges between the governments of China and Thailand, high-level officials of Thailand have shown an increase in interest when it comes to learning Chinese. In 2014, the CIKU established a cooperative relationship with the Secretariat of the Senate and began to offer advanced Chinese courses with the “Belt and Road” initiative as core content to military and government officials of Thailand. It also organized activities such as lectures on Traditional Chinese Medicine. The launching of the training workshop for NLA members marked a step ahead for high level officials’ cultural exchanges.

Gao Huimin, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Kasetsart University said, “If people use a language that is understandable to one another to communicate, be it a few words or sentences, the gap between the two sides can be narrowed, as is the case with high-level communication.” In her interview with the journalist, she expressed that based on her years working in Thailand, many high-level figures have strong desire and high demand for learning Chinese but their learning plans usually met barriers due to various factors. The training workshop, jointly organized with the Secretariat of the Senate, would turn their hopes into reality.

Since its official operation in October, 2006, the CIKU has actively carried out activities to promote Chinese teaching and Chinese culture, including Chinese cultural experience activities, Open Day, lecture series and TCM promotion. Providing Chinese courses for about 6,000 people ranging from college students to government officials every year, the CIKU has become a major force for Chinese teaching in Thailand as well as also being one of the major HSK testing centers in the Bangkok area with an ever growing number of examinees every year.

These events are an epitome of the development of Chinese language in Thailand. With the joint efforts of China and Thailand, Confucius Institutes in Thailand benefit various people including local residents, government officials, soldiers, police and royal families through language teaching and thus exert profound and extensive influence on all walks of life in the country. They have won praise from all sectors of society in Thailand and exert a positive and far-reaching influence on enhancing the friendship between the two peoples.

Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, President of National Legislative Assembly expressed, “With the growing influence of Chinese language in Thailand, people from various sectors such as government, industry and tourism have a growing demand for learning Chinese.” He also pointed out that the training workshop will further cement the friendship between Thailand and China and promote cooperation in more fields.

(Story by Lin Rui, People’s Daily, Page 3, January 24th, 2018)