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Royal children set about learning Chinese

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    16:07, November 15, 2017

Learning Chinese has once again been proven as a great investment in children’s education after U.S. President Donald Trump’s granddaughter successfully played her diplomatic role and facilitated Trump’s successful visit to China by singing a Chinese song and reciting poetry in Mandarin,

Arabella Kushner, a six-year-old Chinese learner, has been hailed by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a “little star,” who also graded her performance with an “A+”. According to Xinhua News Agency, she started learning Mandarin from her Chinese nanny when she was just 16 months old.

Arabella is not the first foreign kid famous for her proficiency in Chinese. Learning Chinese has already become a new trend in royal families. Elisabeth, 16-year-old Princess of Belgium, studied Chinese in a Dutch speaking school in Brussels.

Such a move also happened in the neighboring Dutch monarchy. Catharina Amalia, the heir to the Dutch throne, started learning Chinese in Hague in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Danish monarchy is another European royal family which has shown a keen interest in China and its culture and language. Apart from Danish, French, and English, Chinese is among one of the four languages used on the royal family’s website since 2014.

Chinese also appears to be a popular second language in Asian royal families. Princess Sirindhorn has been learning about Chinese culture and arts and has been studying Chinese language for years. Her proficiency in Chinese has earned her a title of “good friend of China,” enabling her to be a true envoy for Sino-Thai relations.

Royal enthusiasm in learning Chinese has led to an increasing number of foreign Chinese learners. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the number of foreigners learning Chinese has grown from 30 million in 2005 to 100 million today, with more than 60 countries now offering Chinese as part of their national education system.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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