Photo: Sol­diers take snow bath to en­hance re­sis­tance against cold

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO -

Tak­ing a snow bath is a tra­di­tion for some mil­i­tary units in North­east China. Last week, sev­eral sol­diers from the Fron­tier Scouts took off their coats to bathe in snow in -20 C in the city of Heihe, Hei­longjiang prov­ince. They be­lieve the bath will en­hance re­sis­tance against cold and build a strong body.

Item­fromDec5,1998,in Chi­naDaily:For­eign­stu­dentsstudyin­gatBei­jing Univer­si­type­r­form Ode to the ’98 Anti-Flood He­roes yes­ter­day.

The­freez­ing­cold­has­not damp­enedtheen­thu­si­as­mof for­eign­stu­dents­for­learn­ing Chi­nese.Yes­ter­dayevening, 300stu­dents­from50­coun­triestook­parti­naper­for­mance­fea­tur­ingChi­nese lan­guageartis­ticpro­grams. …

In a mere 12 years, the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute has opened 500 cam­puses world­wide, teach­ing Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture to al­most 2 mil­lion peo­ple.

At­tached to for­eign uni­ver­si­ties, the in­sti­tute is a net­work of not-for-profit Man­darin lan­guage-teach­ing schools and cul­tural cen­ters for those who seek to learn about China.

It is over­seen by the Of­fice of Chi­nese Lan­guage Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional.

The first cam­pus opened its doors in Seoul in 2004. By the fol­low­ing year, there were 33 in op­er­a­tion. To­day, there are more than 500, spread across more than 134 coun­tries and on ev­ery con­ti­nent apart from Antarc­tica.

By 2020, it aims to have more than 1,000 world­wide.

In ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing Chi­nese cour­ses to the gen­eral pub­lic, some cam­puses pro­vide tai­lored lan­guage classes to a range of would-be Man­darin speak­ers, in­clud­ing un­der­grad­u­ates and univer­sity staff, busi­ness­peo­ple and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

The Chi­nese econ­omy is driv­ing global in­ter­est in Man­darin, plac­ing the net­work in an en­vi­able po­si­tion.

Thanks to China’s eco­nomic clout and ex­pand­ing trade links with the 60-plus coun­tries in­cluded in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, there is lit­tle work is needed to pro­mote the lan­guage in those na­tions.

The ma­jor­ity of cam­puses are lo­cated in a hand­ful of coun­tries — more than 100, for in­stance, are in the United States, and more than two dozen in the United King­dom.

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