US to get more Con­fu­cius In­sti­tutes

A to­tal of 20 new Chi­nese learn­ing cen­ters spread across nine states

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CINDY LIU in Los Angeles cindyliu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

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

at

Wu Jiao and He Liu con­trib­uted to this story.

CINDY LIU / CHINA DAILY

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.

CINDY LIU / CHINA DAILY

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.

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