The number of foreigners studying in China hit 141,000 in 2005, up 27.28 percent from the figure a year earlier, with 86,679 of them coming to China to study Mandarin (putonghua), the Ministry of Education said on Monday.
The Ministry's spokesman Wang Xuming told a press conference that China witnessed the record number of foreign students with the most diversified countries of origin in 2005.
Statistics from the Ministry show that out of the 141,000, 75.73 percent of them hailed from Asia, 11.67 percent from Europe, 9.37 percent from America, 1.95 percent from Africa, and another 1.28 percent from Oceania.
Zhang Xiuqin, secretary-general with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) under the ministry, said China has attracted an increasing number of overseas students because of its economic growth, social stability, and greater international influence.
China received 884,315 foreign students between 1950 and 2005.