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200 tons of Chinese language teaching materials sold overseas annually
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14:23, July 12, 2007

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The demand for Chinese language teaching materials has soared along with the international craze for learning Chinese. Some 200 tons of textbooks are sold outside China annually.

Currently there are 30 million people in more than 30 countries learning Chinese; and the number may soar to 100 million by 2010, according to statistics from the Office of the Chinese Language Council International. Chinese classes are available at 2,500 universities and over ten thousand middle and primary schools worldwide.

Every year about 200 tons of Chinese-teaching materials are sent into the world from Beijing through the postal system in 400,000 packages. Nearly half of them went to the ROK, Japan and Southeast Asian countries; the rest went to the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Those heading for Europe and Africa have also increased in number in recent years.

Statistics released at the World Conference on Sinology 2007, held not long ago in Beijing, showed that in the past six years, the number of Chinese learners in French middle schools has surpassed that of those learning the other four foreign languages available. The amount of American students learning Chinese has reached 100,000; ten times more than that of the past. At Princeton, the number of students choosing Chinese increased by 50 percent in last year alone, next only to Spanish. Many people have chosen to learn Chinese not only out of their curiosity in the culture, but also in consideration of their future careers, according to a relevant source.

In response to the Chinese craze, in 2004, the Office of the Chinese Language Council International began to establish Confucius institutes overseas to promote Chinese education. By now 150 institutes have been established in more than 50 countries and regions, and will increase to 200 by the end of this year.

By People's Daily Online

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