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UPDATED: 12:37, September 26, 2006
Confucius Institute launched in Vienna
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The first Confucius Institute in Austria, which aims to spread Chinese culture and language around the world, was officially established at the University of Vienna on Monday.

The Confucius Institute in Vienna was jointly built by the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the University of Vienna.

The launch of the Confucius Institute in Vienna indicated the increasing cultural and educational exchanges between China and Austria, said Chinese Ambassador to Austria Lu Yonghua at the ceremony.

Lu added that the Confucius Institute would serve as an important platform for the two countries to research Confucianism, and spread the eastern civilization.

"It must become another bridge for the people of the two countries to enhance friendship and understand each other," he said.

Elisabeth Gehrer, Austria's Minister of Education, Science and Culture, held a special reception to celebrate the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Vienna.

During her visit to Beijing in May, China and Austria signed the letter of intent for jointly building the institute.

"The Confucius Institute in Vienna will provide even better conditions to the Chinese learners in Austria," Professor Richard Trappl, the rector of the Confucius Institute, told Xinhua.

"The institute is likely to be opened next March, and the institute will recruit students without age limit," he said.

More than 100 representatives from the Chinese community in Austria and Austrian education circle participated in the ceremony.

Source: Xinhua

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