Exclusive Interview: Educational and Cultural Cooperation between China and Azerbaijan Enjoys Broad Prospect
Interview of Rafik Abbasov, Director of the Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages

[Source]    xinhuanet.com [Time]    2019-09-26 15:41:38 

In a recent exclusive interview by a journalist from Xinhua News Agency, Rafik Abbasov, Director of the Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages and Standing Secretary-General of the Azerbaijan-China Friendship Association, said that Azerbaijani have learnt more about Chinese language and culture through the Confucius Institute, and there is a promising future for the educational and cultural cooperation and communication between China and Azerbaijan.

In 2016, the official unveiling ceremony of the Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages was held in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. As of now, 8 Chinese teaching sites have been set up in Azerbaijan. Over 1000 locals have attended Chinese language training courses and there are nearly 200 undergraduates majoring in Chinese.

Azerbaijan also noted that, the traditional friendship between two countries boasts a long history and the two peoples have been closely linked by the Ancient Silk Road. In recent years, during the cooperation on jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, the top leaders of both countries have paid frequent visits to each other, scoring remarkable achievements of cooperation in energy, transportation, tourism, agriculture, among others, and on the other hand, the peoples of two countries have enjoyed ever closer people-to-people exchanges. Thanks to the development of cooperative relations between the two countries in various fields, Azerbaijanis, particularly the young people, show an increasing interest in the Chinese language and culture, thus more people attending the courses in Chinese teaching schools and starting to learn Chinese. The popularity of the Chinese language in Azerbaijan mirrors closer relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Abbasov said that cultural exchanges serve as the most valid bridge and hub to promote people-to-people bond which is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative construction. The Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages has actively set up a platform for cultural exchanges between China and Azerbaijan, which has made it an important driver for the two peoples to communicate with and know each other. These efforts have played a crucial part in promoting people-to-people ties as well as bringing the two peoples closer.

Abbasov said that with the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative between the two countries, a larger number of Chinese companies have come to Azerbaijan to invest and start business. Besides, more and more Chinese people have taken Azerbaijan as a tourism destination, which creates a lot of job opportunities for the locals and makes those who can speak Chinese especially welcome. Thanks to the huge opportunity brought by the cooperation between the two countries for common people, the popularity of the Chinese language enjoys a solid foundation of public support in Azerbaijan and continues to heat up.

Abbasov highlighted that the Confucius Institute is the bridge and hub for language and cultural communications between China and other countries, concerning the benefits of both China and other countries in the world. With the joint efforts, the Confucius Institute at Azerbaijan University of Languages will stick to the principle of achieving shared growth through collaboration, and make contributions to promoting China-Azerbaijan friendship and educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

(Story by Li Ming, Baku, Xinhua News Agency, September 22nd)

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