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Kunming civil servants required to master daily expressions in 5 foreign languages
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14:17, August 05, 2009

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On the evening of August 3, civil servants from the publicity department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee took the lead in entering the classroom and attending their first training lesson. This is a "Kunming New Deal" proposed by Qiu He, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee and secretary of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee. This measure has directly influenced civil servants under Qiu's leadership. Over the next year, civil servants in Kunming will be required to spend several nights each week in the classroom intensively learning five foreign languages, Mandarin and computer skills, in order to meet challenges in their work and pass the uniform examination organized by the Kunming Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government. Civil servants should not take the training lightly because their proficiency in foreign languages, Mandarin and computer skills may influence future promotion.

Civil servants attend English training

On the evening of August 3, civil servants from the publicity department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee took the lead in entering the classroom and attending their first training lesson. The English lesson started at 8 pm and ended at 10 pm. The teacher is from a well-known domestic training school.

An official from the publicity department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee told reporters that his department started to attend the training class relatively earlier than others in Kunming. This is part of a detailed and special training program that the Party General Branch and Personnel Division under the Kunming Municipal publicity department had begun to formulate, after receiving requirements from the General Office of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee in late July.

Civil servants are required to master five foreign languages

English is not the only language they will learn. "We will also learn Lao, Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese, as well as Mandarin and computer skills," an official from the publicity department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee told reporters.

Training in the publicity department of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee will continue into next year. Civil servants will spend two hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night learning foreign languages, Mandarin and computer skills from professional teachers.

On-the-job public officials under the age of 50 in Kunming are required to master 700 daily expressions across five foreign languages including 300 English sentences and 100 sentences in Lao, Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese each.

Qiu taught himself Vietnamese

There is a huge lack of professionals with these skills and this does not match Kunming's status as China's "bridge" connecting the country with Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Therefore, Qiu, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee and secretary of the CPC Kunming Municipal Committee demanded the officials in charge carry out work. He also said he has already started learning Vietnamese, Burmese and Lao by himself.

Qiu also set out clear study duration. A report by Xinhua News Agency said that Qiu has required civil servants under the age of 50 in Kunming to master 300 English sentences, 100 sentences in Vietnamese, Burmese and Lao each before National Day this year. The Kunming Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government will organize tests to determine the standard of learning and will regard proficiency in rare languages as a requirement for promotion.

Training targets Southeast Asia

A civil servant in Kunming believes that the goal of the civil servant training is to build Kunming's new image of opening-up to the outside world.

Kunming has had increasingly frequent exchanges with Southeast Asian countries during recent years. Last year, the Kunming Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government reset Kunming's goal of opening-up towards Southeast Asia. Teaching Kunming's civil servants daily expressions in foreign languages is viewed as a new measure to reposition Kunming.

By People's Daily Online



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