US to get more Confucius Institutes
A total of 20 new Chinese learning centers spread across nine states
Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the US College Board announced five new Confucius Institutes and 15 new Confucius Classrooms in nine US states on Thursday.
It marked the first time the College Board establish Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms within its network collaborating with Hanban.
Xu Lin, chief executive and director general of Hanban, said at a ceremony in Los Angeles announcing the new institutes and classrooms that relations between Hanban and the United States are growing stronger as illustrated by the College Board’s involvement.
“Chinese is the language of the future,” she said. “We are all putting efforts together to hug tomorrow’s sun.”
The 2014 National Chinese Language Conference also started on Thursday at the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles. This annual conference is the biggest meeting in US for teaching Chinese. Representatives from established and new Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms gathered to share their experiences and insights in running Chinese-language teaching and culture exchange programs.
The College Board, in collaboration with Hanban, launched the 20 institutes and classrooms to support the teaching of Chinese language in grades K-12 and culture education in the US, providing funding, resources and guidance to the participating institutions.
“It is the first year that we take the leadership in running Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in the US within the College Board’s network,” David Coleman, president of the College Board, said at the ceremony. “The network is now here!”
Coleman expressed his appreciation to Hanban, especially for Xu’s leadership and contributions to the teaching of Chinese language and development of culture exchanges over many years in the US.
“Hanban is just like the sun. It lights the path to develop Chinese teaching in the US. The College Board is the moon. I am so honored to reflect the light that we’ve gotten from Hanban,” said Coleman.
Xu said that Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in the US are developing in three areas: the influence of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms is increasing; the quality of Chinese-language teaching is increasing; and innovation and creativity are increasing.
“There so many new ideas to develop Confucius Institutes and classrooms each year. We encourage each school to develop their program based on their own expertise. We absolutely encourage experienced institutes and classrooms to share their ideas with newcomers,” she said.
In an interview with China Daily, Coleman highlighted the benefits of promoting Chinese language and culture exchanges for young American students in helping them achieve success in higher education.
“The spirit of hard work that we have learned from Chinese teachers, Chinese students as well as our Chinese partner, Hanban, is so important and precious to every student, not only in the US but in the world,’’ he said.
We don’t want people to take any steps to raise tensions. So we encouraged countries like China, in this case, not to do so,” she told a briefing at the Foreign Press Center in DC.
Harf also emphasized it’s not a zero-sum game. “We believe we can work with China. We need to have a good partnership with China,” she said.
“You see starting presidents and down engagements at very high level to forge a new kind of relationship moving forward,”
Amid escalating tensions, Vietnamese stocks have plunged to their lowest prices since 2001, extending a six-week sell-off that turned the benchmark index into the world’s worst performer, Bloomberg News reported.
The VN Index dropped by 5.9 percent to close at 527.09 on Thursday. The benchmark gauge for Vietnam’s $52 billion equity market has tumbled 13 percent from this year’s peak on March 24.
“The talk is all about the political tension,” Michel Tosto, the head of institutional sales at Viet Capital Securities in Ho Chi Minh City, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
Dong said the markets will be under control if Vietnam “sincerely follows and pays due respect” to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, a document endorsed by China and the 10 Southeast Asian nations.
Contact the writers zhangyunbi@chinadaily. com.cn and puzhendong@ chinadaily.com.cn
Wu Jiao and He Liu contributed to this story.
Xu Lin (center), director general and chief executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, and David Coleman (fifth from right), president of US College Board, jointly announced five new Confucius Institutes and 15 new Confucius Classrooms in nine US states on Thursday in Los Angeles.
Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia and senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, keynotes the opening plenary at the 2014 National Chinese Language Conference in Chinese in Los Angeles on Thursday.