State councilor touts China-U.S. language, cultural exchanges

10:40, April 16, 2011      

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Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong delivers a speech in the opening ceremony of the 2011 National Chinese Language conference in San Francisco, the United States, April 14, 2011. (Xinhua/Qi Heng)

Language and cultural exchanges boost bilateral relations and have an irreplaceable role in promoting better understanding between the peoples of China and the United States, says State Councilor Liu Yandong.

Liu spoke Thursday while addressing the opening ceremony of the fourth annual National Chinese Language Conference. The conference gathered nearly 1,500 professionals in the field of Chinese language education from across America.

Language acts as a communications tool between peoples, Liu said, noting that the enthusiasm for learning foreign languages has never been so strong among peoples of different countries as peace, development and cooperation become the trend of current times.

The rapid expansion of Chinese language education across the United States is a vivid example of the deepening of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, Liu said.

She said more than 70 Confucius Institutes have been set up in the United States and more than 1,000 American universities have launched Chinese language disciplines. More than 4,000 U.S. elementary and middle schools also are now providing Chinese language courses, Liu said.

Liu also announced that China will offer more assistance to Chinese language education in the United States, including training more local teachers, initiating further exchanges of teachers and students in the two countries, and cooperating in research on Chinese language teaching methods.

For China, promoting Chinese language education is aimed at boosting understanding, mutual trust and cooperation with the outside world, she said.


Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong delivers a speech in the opening ceremony of the 2011 National Chinese Language conference in San Francisco, the United States, April 14, 2011. (Xinhua/Qi Heng)

Liu on Thursday also held talks with Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, and Asia Society President Vishakha Desai.

The two organizations -- the organizers of the National Chinese Language Conference -- signed agreements on Chinese language and cultural projects with the Office of Chinese Language Council International, or "Hanban," in a ceremony that was attended by the state councilor.

Also Thursday, Liu met with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee and David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city's legislative branch.

Both Lee and Chiu are the first Chinese Americans to hold their current posts in San Francisco's history.

Source: Xinhua

 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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