China pledges steady development of Confucius Institutes

2012-12-17 00:51:09 GMT2012-12-17 08:51:09(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government will actively support the steady development of Confucius Institutes, according to state councilor Liu Yandong Sunday.

The international promotion of Chinese language had enabled foreigners to better understand the Chinese culture and the contemporary China, Liu said in her speech at the opening ceremony of the seventh conference of Confucius Institutes running from Dec. 16 to 18.

It also contributed to the communication and friendship between peoples and exchanges between civilizations, said Liu, also president the Confucius Institute Headquarters council.

Liu encouraged Confucius Institutes to expand the coverage of their operation from major cities to other regions and from colleges to communities.

The Confucius Institute and Confucius Classrooms, both named after the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, serve as non-profit public institutions aiming to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries.

Currently, 400 Confucius Institutes and over 500 Confucius Classrooms are in operation globally, which received about 655,000 registered students in 108 countries and regions this year, according to figures from the organization's headquarters.

China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, while respecting the diversity of civilizations and development paths, said Liu, citing a report adopted at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last month.

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