2018 Joint Conference of Partial Confucius Institutes in Asia Held in Colombo

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2018-07-02 10:29:44 

On the afternoon of June 27th, 2018, the Joint Conference of Partial Confucius Institutes in Asia was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. More than 100 representatives from 23 Confucius Institutes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Turkey, Iran and India attended the conference. Pang Chunxue, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Madhawa Dewasurendra, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka, Yu Yunfeng, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, Lakshman Dissanayake, President of the University of Colombo, and Yan Guohua, Vice President of Beijing Foreign Studies University, attended the conference and delivered speeches. Anuradha Wijekoon, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Senevirantne, Vice Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya, Gong Yan, Deputy Party Secretary of Chongqing Normal University, Zhang Canbang, Vice President of Honghe University, as well as other Chinese and foreign guests attended the opening ceremony.

Yan Guohua expressed that the Beijing Foreign Studies University, in collaboration with Honghe University, established the Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo. The Institute commits to promoting the basic Chinese teaching, vocational Chinese education, and the training of Chinese language teachers to facilitate educational and cultural exchanges between China and Sri Lanka. He noted that the Beijing Foreign Studies University is willing to contribute its educational, research and international cooperation resources as well as the experience of organizing 23 Confucius Institutes, in a bid to boost cultivation of high-level Chinese education talents in Asia and drive the building of mechanisms on people-to-people and cultural exchanges among the countries.

Yan Guohua delivering a speech

Lakshman Dissanayake pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jingping has brought the benefits of China’s development to the countries along the routes. As more Chinese investment flow into Sri Lanka, bilateral economic and trade exchanges have become increasingly closer. More and more Sri Lankans hope to learn Chinese and know more about China. In recent two years, the Confucius Institute at the University of Colombo has made remarkable achievements in offering Chinese teaching and pushing forward bilateral educational exchanges. The joint conference will build an important platform for promoting cooperation among Confucius Institutes, cross-regional collaboration among universities and people-to-people bonds in the countries along the routes.

Lakshman Dissanayake delivering a speech

Yu Yunfeng expressed that Confucius Institutes have become an important force of enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges among China and other countries by focusing on language, integrating diversified cultures and promoting people-to-people bonds. The construction of the Belt and Road and the building of a community of shared future for mankind have provided valuable historic opportunities for the development of Confucius Institutes in a new period. Higher requirements have also been put forward for Confucius Institutes to tell Chinese stories in a new period, increase exchanges and mutual learning with different civilizations, and help countries along the routes to achieve prosperous development. It is hoped that everyone can put heads together, contribute new ideas and wisdom to and focus on consensus for the future development.

Yu Yunfeng delivering a speech

Madhawa Dewasurendra thanked the Chinese government for its constant assistance to Sri Lanka. He said that this conference will develop new ways to improve the quality of Chinese language teaching in Asia and build bridges for cultural exchanges among various countries. Chinese is one of the oldest languages in the world and one of the major official languages of the United Nations. As China’s economic growth ranks first in the world, enterprises in various countries have cooperated with China and learning Chinese is conducive to being players on the international stage. China’s scholarship program, like a beacon of hope for Sri Lankans, helps them secure ideal jobs and realize their dreams. Therefore, it remains an arduous journey for Confucius Institutes to provide Chinese language teaching as well as cultivate and train Chinese teachers.

Madhawa Dewasurendra delivering a speech

Pang Chunxue noted that as the Silk Road links China and Sri Lanka, the Silk Road spirit-“peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit” is also reflected in the construction of Confucius Institutes. President Xi Jinping pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative will be a real chorus comprising all countries along the routes, not a solo for China itself. Confucius Institutes play an important role in promoting Chinese language teaching and Chinese culture. More and more Sri Lankans want to learn Chinese. It is hoped that Confucius Institutes will cultivate more non-governmental goodwill messengers between China and Sri Lanka, and play a greater role in promoting closer people-to-people ties and boosting economic and social development of host countries.

Pang Chunxue delivering a speech

Conference venue

At the two-day conference, representatives shared cases and had group discussions on such topics as content building of Confucius Institutes, improving the quality of running Confucius Institutes, improving the localization level of Chinese language teaching, and cooperation between Confucius Institutes and Chinese enterprises.