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Xi Jinping Attends the Opening Ceremony of Annual Conference of UK Confucius Institutes and Classrooms

2015/10/23

On October 22 local time, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of annual conference of UK Confucius Institutes and Classrooms in London.

Accompanied by Duke of York Prince Andrew of the UK, Xi Jinping arrived at the site of the opening ceremony, jointly viewing the photo exhibition of achievements of UK Confucius Institutes and Classrooms, and watching report-back performances by students from the institutes and classrooms. Students sang the song “Grateful Heart” and recited the poem “In Memory of Jiao Yulu--To the Tune of Niannujiao” in Chinese, winning waves of applauses from the audience.

Xi Jinping pointed out in the speech that for many years, faculty and administrative staff of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have devoted much passion and painstaking efforts to introducing Chinese culture, linking people's hearts and building friendship and achieved gratifying results. I am glad to see that there are so many teachers and students teaching and learning Chinese language, especially that so many UK students are interested in Chinese language and culture.

Xi Jinping stressed that language is the best key to understand a country and that Confucius Institutes serve as important platforms to help the world know China. As windows and bridges for linguistic and cultural exchanges between China and the world, the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have played an active role in facilitating people around the world to learn Chinese language and understand its culture. In addition, they have also made important contributions to China's people-to-people exchanges with the world, as well as the development of a diverse and colorful world civilization.

Xi Jinping pointed out that in recent years, Confucius Institutes in the UK enjoy rapid development. So far, the UK has established 29 Confucius Institutes and 126 Confucius Classrooms, ranking first among the European countries. The fruitful results yielded by the UK Confucius Institutes are an epitome of the booming development of people-to-people exchanges between China and the UK. The essence of Chinese and the UK cultures has brought fantastic "chemical reaction" into both people's way of thinking and lifestyle through people-to-people exchanges. As a Chinese saying goes, “Be tireless in learning and fatigueless in teaching.”It is hoped that teachers present can keep up the good work and make contributions to the cause of China-UK friendship. I hope that Confucius Institutes can honor the motto of “Mutual Respect, Friendly Negotiation, Equality and Win-win” to make new and greater contributions to spreading culture, linking hearts and promoting the diversity of world civilizations.

Prince Andrew noted in his speech that as an old friend of China, he supports the development of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms and encourages more UK children to learn Chinese language. China is a very important country and the UK-China relationship is also rather crucial. A good command of Chinese language can contribute to the development of cooperative partnership between the UK and China.

Afterwards, Xi Jinping and the Duke of York Prince Andrew together unveiled the plaque of the 1000th Confucius Classroom——the Confucius Classroom at Hautlieu School, which will be hosted by Hautlieu School of Jersey and Beijing Bayi High School.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended aforementioned events.

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