The "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition is a large-scale international contest sponsored by Hanban, and is well-known in the cultural and educational exchanges worldwide. It consists of 3 events: "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign High School Students and "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Students in China. The competition is held yearly, organized and carried out by the Organizing Committee.
In recent years, the "Chinese Bridge" Competition is carried out by Hanban in cooperation with local governments, and presented to the public through TV broadcast, which has achieved good effects. So far, the "Chinese Bridge" Competition for College Students has been held 8 times, and attracted 705 college students from over 60 countries participating in the semi-finals and finals in China. The "Chinese Bridge" for High School Students has been held twice. Nearly 200 secondary school students from over 20 countries were invited to China to share their achievements and happiness during their Chinese learning. The "Chinese Bridge" for Foreign Students in China, co-hosted by Hanban and CCTV's Overseas Program Center, has been held twice, which attracted about 200 foreign students from over 40 countries in China to compete with each other. The total number of participants for preliminary rounds of the three contests has exceeded 800,000.
The "Chinese Bridge" Competition aims to arouse the enthusiasm of students in various countries in learning Chinese and strengthen the world's understanding of Chinese language and culture. At present, the competition has become an important platform for college students of various countries to learn Chinese language and learn about China. It builds a communication bridge between young people of China and other countries. Just as the words of Liu Siwen, first place winner of the 8th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, "The 'Chinese Bridge' brings us a kind of luck. I will keep the luck and the friends in my heart. We will get together again, because our future will surely links with China. "
The "Chinese Bridge for Foreign Schools"is an initiative launched by Hanban for educational officials and principals of foreign primary and secondary schools which have opened or intend to open Chinese courses, aiming to improve their understanding of China and encourage the growth of Chinese language programs in their schools. The "trip to China" is usually for one week. The delegates will go to visit primary and secondary schools in different provinces, learn about Chinese society, and hold meetings with Chinese educators.
In the summer of 2006, the first "Chinese Bridge for American Schools" was held to great success. Afterward, Chinese Bridge for UK, Korean and EU Schools were gradually introduced. By the end of 2009, the "Chinese Bridge for American Schools" has been held 4 times, receiving a total of 2,400 principals and educational officials. The "Chinese Bridge for UK Schools" has been held 3 times with a total of 337 principals and educational officials. In 2010, there are about 1,500 principals and educational officials from 15 countries including the U.S., UK, Russia and Germany who will be involved in the program.
The program helps the foreign delegates get a new profound understanding of China's society and economy as well as Chinese language, culture and education. Their witnessing Chinese people's enthusiasm and China's opening-up and the modernization lays a very solid foundation for their cooperation in education and culture with China in the future, and plays a positive role in giving them confidence in cooperating with Chinese schools, promoting Chinese education in foreign schools and enhancing friendship between people of different countries.
"Thanks Hanban for giving great support to the educational trip. We will never forget the experience which has changed our life. Through the activity, we begin to learn about China and Chinese people. We hope that the Sino-US friendship will last forever, " Dr. Darline Robles, Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, wrote following the visit.