Chinese State Councilor Chen Zhili (C)delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the Confucius InstituteHeadquarters in Beijing, April 9, 2007. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, April10 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday unveiled the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing to better promote Sino-foreign language and cultural exchanges.
Chinese State Councilor Chen Zhili, who is also chairperson of the council of the headquarters, said at the unveiling ceremony that the headquarters is the top management body for Confucius institutes worldwide.
It will make relevant rules, evaluate the achievements of the institutes, approve new institutes and the institutes' annual programs and budgets, and provide managing and teaching personnel, according to Chen.
She said Confucius institutes serve as important platforms for foreigners to learn the Chinese language and culture.
"We will help Confucius institutes improve teaching quality to meet the surging demand of foreign learners," Chen said.
According to the Ministry of Education, about 30 million foreigners are learning Chinese, and the figure will hit 100 million by 2010. In China alone, the number of foreigners studying Mandarin has grown from 36,000 ten years ago to 110,000 this year.
Currently, there are more than 140 Confucius institutes in more than 50 countries and regions.