Build Bridge of Talent Cooperation Between China and Europe

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2019-04-03 10:46:36 
 

“Nihao (Hello), xiexie (thank you), bukeqi (you’re welcome)...” Recently, in a classroom at ESCP Europe Business School (ESCP Europe), the Chinese language course for the alumni class of the Business Confucius Institute at ESCP Europe was officially initiated. Students include undergraduates and graduates of ESCP Europe, who are from all walks of life and are of various nationalities and ages.

In the class, the teacher taught students the basics of Pinyin (Chinese phonetic alphabet) through the combination of slides and Chinese songs, and invited students to share their experiences in China. With frequent interactions, the classroom atmosphere was active. Antoine, who has worked in China, said that China has become a global leader in such fields like artificial intelligence and digital technology, and that he often uses Chinese technology products in his life and work. He said that mastery of Chinese language will give one an advantage in the future and that’s why he chooses to study Chinese.

“Wuhan, Hangzhou, Shenzhou...”a French girl Eve blurted out when the teacher asked the names of Chinese cities. Eve has participated in cooperative projects between the company she works for and China. “It makes me realize the importance of learning Chinese. Now France and China have cooperation in many fields, and learning Chinese will help me know more about China,” she said. Born in “Mei Li Cheng”, a Chinatown in Paris and brought up in such a cultural environment there, Eve hopes that she can master Chinese, make more Chinese friends and go to visit China.

Amandine, who’s in a master’s preparation program, took many notes while listening attentively to the teacher. She has many Chinese friends. “Learning Chinese will enable me to have more career choices,” she said. “Although learning Chinese is not easy, I won’t give up.”

Jointly operated by Beijing Foreign Studies University and ESCP Europe, the Business Confucius Institute at ESCP Europe, featuring “Business Chinese” course, is the first of its kind in Ile-de-France. Margot de Lasteyrie, French Director of the Institute, said that language is the basis for understanding and culture is the key to business contacts. She said the purpose of establishing the Confucius Institute is to promote talent cooperation between Europe and China through the bridge of language and culture.

In Margot de Lasteyrie’s view, the appeal of Confucius Institutes lies not only in Chinese culture, but also in China’s soft power and the opportunities brought by the development of China. She said that with 60% of its students being foreigners, ESCP Europe is highly internationalized. “The Confucius Institute provides students with a perspective to better understand China.”

According to the Education Office of the Chinese Embassy in France, there are 16 Confucius Institutes and 2 Confucius Classrooms in France, which have become important windows for China to promote Chinese language and cultural exchange. Learning Chinese has become a hot trend in France. In 2018, the number of French learning Chinese exceeded 110,000. The French government has opened international Chinese class in 46 primary and secondary schools in 10 school districts, the number of which ranks the third among the 17 types of international language classes in France, second only to that of British English and American English.

(Story by Gong Ming and Liu Lingling, People’s Daily, Paris, March 28th)

(People’s Daily, Page 16, March 29th, 2019)

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