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Delegation Led by Vice President ZHENG Weitao Attending the 13th Confucius Institute Conference

07, Dec, 2018 Office of Global Engagement 148

On December 4 and 5, Vice President ZHENG Weitao led a delegation to attend the 13th Confucius Institute Conference entitled “Facilitating the New Development Through Reform and Innovation, Forging A Brighter Future with Concerted Efforts” in Chengdu, Sichuan. The Conference had 2 special forums, 8 Chinese and foreign Presidents’ Forums and 20 workshops. More than 1,500 Chinese and foreign representatives from over 150 countries and regions gathered together for in-depth discussions on “Innovation in Educational Model and Operation Mechanism of Confucius Institutes”, “the Chinese+ Individualized Development Strategies”, “Confucius Institute Digital Construction” and “Improving Partnerships with Different Stakeholders”.

SUN Chunlan, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairman of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. SUN Chunlan pointed out that the Chinese government has long been promoting cross-cultural exchanges and actively supporting cooperation between China and other countries on running Confucius Institutes. She also said that to build a community of shared future and promote the common prosperity and development of all countries, we should give full play to the unique role of language in enhancing understanding, building consensus, promoting cooperation and deepening friendship. CHEN Baosheng, Minister of Education and Vice Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, presided over the opening ceremony.

Before the opening ceremony, ZHENG Weitao and Academician LI Yuanyuan, Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, former President of Jilin University and President of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, met with Chinese and foreign representatives of five overseas Confucius Institutes of Jilin University and three overseas Confucius Institutes of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, sharing results of the 2nd Joint Conference of Overseas Confucius Institutes of Jilin University & Annual Council Meeting of Confucius Institute in 2018. It was agreed that the Confucius Institutes should continue to expand cooperation network, build close ties and learn from each other.

During the Conference, ZHENG Weitao made full exchange with Chinese and foreign representatives from the Confucius Institute at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the Confucius Institute at State University of Kiev, the Confucius Institute at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, the Confucius Institute at Kansas State University and the Confucius Institute at Hanyang University. At the workshop with five overseas Confucius Institutes, attendees discussed about and reached a consensus on the 2019 Work Plan. In separate talks with the overseas Confucius Institutes, the Chinese and foreign parties agreed on the renewal of the agreement and programmes including the Academic Exchange Week, multilateral academic seminars and sports competitions of the Confucius Institute. The delegation also exchanged views with overseas partner institutions such as the University of Queensland in Australia, the University of Kentucky, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom on enhancing in-depth cooperation in the future. The delegation shared JLU’s project experience, e.g. “Tour of Photography in Northeast China”: Summer Camp Program for Overseas Confucius Institutes of Jilin University at the workshop to promote two-way exchanges between Chinese and foreign youths and a series of themed activities such as “Chinese Language Day”.

Persons in charge of the Office of the Global Engagement and the Northeast Base of Hanban for International Chinese Education presented at the Conference.

Taken as Davos in education, the annual Confucius Institute Conference is a grand event for all the Confucius Institutes around the world, which has already been held for 13 years in succession. It seeks to learn from experience, maintain close communication and enhance cooperation. At present, there are 548 Confucius Institutes, 1,193 Confucius Institute Classrooms at primary and middle schools and 5,665 Chinese teaching spots in 154 countries and regions around the world.

Since 2007, JLU has cooperated with Rutgers University of New Jersey, Kiev National University of Ukraine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kansas State University and Hanyang University of South Korea on building five Confucius Institutes. There are Confucius Classrooms and 20 Chinese teaching points in primary and secondary schools, with a total number of 7,959 students. Aimed to promote mutual learning between Confucius Institutes in various countries and continuously improve the operation of Confucius Institutes, the Overseas Confucius Institutes of Jilin University has been holding the Joint Conference of Overseas Confucius Institutes of Jilin University every year since 2017 to discuss the key issues in the construction of Confucius Institutes and continue to explore the vitality of Confucius Institutes. Confucius Institutes have developed into an important window and bridge for all-round cooperation between Jilin University and overseas partner institutions to serve the needs of Chinese and foreign societies.

Since the inauguration, the Northeast Base of Hanban for International Chinese Education in 2010 has launched more than 20 special programs of the Northeast Base and recruited more than 50 teachers to teach and research at the Base; it has sent 25 young and middle-aged scholars specialised in China Studies to prestigious universities abroad for research and training programs and academic exchanges, and has attracted renowned experts and scholars from home and abroad to exchange as visiting scholars at Jilin University; it has launched talent cultivation plans and undertaken development programmes of teaching materials for China Study, prepared country-specific Chinese teaching materials, and published and distributed the book series The Historical Interpretation of Contemporary China and the magazine China and the World. In order to fully understand the needs of Confucius Institutes in local areas and promote the localisation of Confucius Institutes, the Northeast Base has launched the “Overseas China Studies Workshop for Young Elites” and the “Plan for Overseas Public Opinion Research and People-to-People Exchanges Among Chinese and Foreign Youth” in 2018. It has funded 18 groups/teams and sent 267 teachers and students to Confucius Institutes overseas for thematic, planned and fruitful research between two or more parties in a systematic manner; it encourages writing and publishing of monographs or bibliographies to interpret issues in China and promote cultural understanding between China and other countries and China Studies; and it facilitates research in areas such as China Studies and Regional Studies etc.