Education officials from China and the directors of Confucius Institutes in the Ibero-American countries have opened a conference to consider ways of boosting the overseas teaching of the Chinese language.
The Second Congress of Confucius Institutes in Ibero-America, which opened Saturday in this Chilean coastal city, is aimed at sharing experiences among Confucius Institutes directors.
It also seeks ways to better teaching, improve teaching materials and provide additional training for educators.
The three-day event groups delegations from Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico and China.
Meanwhile, like its first session in the Spanish city of Valencia in 2008, the congress is also committed to strengthening cooperation between Confucius Institutes in Latin America and Hanban, the headquarters of Confucius Institutes in Beijing.
As part of the event, a group of university students from Shanghai on Saturday staged a variety of Chinese dances, songs, fashion shows and martial arts in the Hall of Honor of the Chilean Congress in the adjacent city of Valparaiso.
The artistic performances highlighted the motif of the ongoing World Expo in Shanghai, namely "Better City, Better Life," and its goal of promoting understanding between peoples.
The latest figures from Hanban show that 316 Confucius Institutes and 337 Confucius Classrooms have been set up around the world.
The establishments, named after an ancient Chinese scholar and educator whose thoughts remain influential worldwide after 2,500 years, are dedicated to promoting the Chinese language and culture.
Twenty-five Confucius Institutes and two Confucius Classrooms have been inaugurated in the Ibero-American countries. In the host country Chile, Chinese has become the second most popular foreign language, after English.