4th Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Confucius Institutes Summer Camp Kicks Off in Beijing

[Source]    people.com.cn [Time]    2019-07-26 17:03:28 

On July 22nd, in line with the “2019 Year of China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) Education and Youth Exchange” and in order to promote the people-to-people exchanges between China and CEEC, the opening ceremony of the 4th CEEC Confucius Institutes Summer Camp sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) was held at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).

The opening ceremony was attended by Zhao Guocheng, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Huo Yuzhen, Special Representative for China-CEEC Cooperation Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liu Li, President of BLCU, Zhang Baojun, Vice President of BLCU, 15 CEEC diplomats including Mate Imre PESTI, Hungarian Ambassador to China, Dario Mihelin, Croatian Ambassador to China, Inguna, Latvian Deputy Ambassador to China, Miroslav Tomo, Slovak Deputy Ambassador to China, Zorica Tashkovsk, Chargé d'Affaires of Embassy of the Republic of North Macedonia in China, and Bostjan Malovrh, Slovenia Deputy Ambassador to China, as well as thousands of teachers and students from 31 Confucius Institutes (Classrooms) of 16 CEEC.

In the opening ceremony, Zhao Guocheng, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters noted that the China-CEEC friendship dates back to a long time. The CEEC is the forerunner and practitioner of the Belt and Road Initiative. Up to now, China and 16 CEEC have co-established 34 Confucius Institutes and 44 Confucius Classrooms with over 52,000 students in total, and have held various cultural events with more than 510 thousand participants. The Summer Camp in China, the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition, and the “Confucius China Studies Program” and other projects set up by the Confucius Institute Headquarters have received warm welcome from young students around the world.

In 2018, the Confucius Institute Headquarters provided the “Confucius Institute Scholarship” for 364 CEEC students to study in China. Since 2016, the Confucius Institute Headquarters has hosted the “CEEC Confucius Institutes Summer Camp” for four years in a row and more than 3,500 teachers and students have visited China. He said that the Confucius Institute Headquarters will continue to adhere to mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, support the development of Chinese language teaching in the CEEC, and promote the China-CEEC cooperation in education and culture. The Confucius Institute Headquarters will continue to invite and support excellent young people from the CEEC to visit and study in China so as to play a bigger role in and make greater contributions to enhancing cooperation in education and exchanges between young people from China and the CEEC.

Liu Li, President of BLCU, pointed out in his speech that the “CEEC Confucius Institutes Summer Camp” is of great significance to improve the China-Europe mutual understanding and deepen cooperation in education and among young people. As the only international university in China with Chinese language and culture education for international students as the main task, BLCU gives full play to its advantages and has yielded fruitful results in the “17+1 Cooperation” in education. BLCU has actively established Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms, and strengthened the cultivation of top talents. BLCU has actively cooperated with the CEEC universities to build the Chinese teaching platform, through which they explore channels for resources construction, and develop country-specific Chinese language teaching standards, syllabus and localized teaching materials so as to enhance the all-round and multilevel cooperation in language learning and cultural exchanges between the two sides. In the future, both sides will continue multilevel cooperation in higher education, and strengthen people-to-people exchanges and cooperation while keeping differentiation in the CEEC in mind. In terms of cultural exchanges, BLCU will continue the exchanges with the CEEC to further enlarge the BLCU’s “circle of friends”.

Mate Imre PESTI, the representative for CEEC ambassadors and Hungarian Ambassador to China hoped that more young people will participate in the China-CEEC communication and cooperation, strive to promote people-to-people connectivity, and deepen friendship between each other under the Belt and Road Initiative. He hoped that the cooperation in education can create more opportunities for the young generation. He also expressed that China is a place that the CEEC students yearn for. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of China as well as the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Hungary. It is just the right time for the CEEC young people to learn Chinese language.

Huo Yuzhen, Special Representative for China-CEEC Cooperation Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China and the CEEC co-established the China-CEEC Cooperation Mechanism in 2012. Over the past 8 years, “17+1 Cooperation” has developed into an all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging cooperation pattern and become a cross-regional cooperation platform for supporting the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and promoting the development of China-CEEC economy and society. She pointed out that this year is the “Year of China-CEEC Education and Youth Exchange”. As one of the earliest fields of “17+1”, education cooperation between the two sides has achieved fruitful results. China has signed the agreement on bilateral education cooperation with 10 central and eastern European countries, and the agreement on mutual recognition of higher education academic degree with 8 central and eastern European countries. Over 10,000 students have been involved in the two-way overseas study. The two sides also set up University and College Union and the intercollegiate exchange is unprecedentedly dynamic. Driven by the “17+1 Cooperation” in education, “China craze” and “Chinese craze” have been in vogue in central and eastern European countries in recent years, with more and more Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms launched one after another as a prominent feature of the “17+1 Cooperation” in education. She hoped that everyone can take advantage of this rare learning opportunity to become a promoter and practitioner of the China-CEEC friendship and a new force to promote cultural connectivity as well as exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in the future.

Chen Jing, a representative of the campers and student from Confucius Institute at the University of Montenegro, gave a speech in Chinese. She shared her own Chinese story with the audience. She only knew the North-South Highway built in Montenegro supported by China’s Belt and Road project before learning Chinese language. She has actively participated in all the Chinese cultural activities and learned the traditional Chinese culture through culture lectures and the Chinese food and culture festivals.

Before the opening ceremony, the CEEC youth school parade was held. The lecturers from 31 Confucius Institutes in 16 countries dressed in national costumes introduced the characteristics of their own countries to the audience. The campers of Confucius Institutes in different countries wore national costumes and walked hand in hand on the Wutong Avenue in BLCU. They enjoyed the charm of the “Small United Nations” and showed their vigor.


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