China-US International Education Delegation Visits Confucius Institute Headquarters

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2018-11-13 18:12:33 

On November 11th, China-US international education delegation with 14 members visited the Confucius Institute Headquarters. Zhao Guocheng, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, met with the delegation.

The delegation was composed of personages from the US political, business and educational sectors, including Matthew Salmon, Vice President of Arizona State University, former congressman and Chairman of Advisory Board of the Confucius Institute U.S. Center; Curtis Bramble, President Pro Tempore of the Utah Senate; Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman, Assistant Commissioner of Education for Minnesota Department of Education; Patti Gartland, Chairman of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation; Frederick Thomas, the founder and CEO of US MHz Networks; Michelle Lockhart, Executive Officer of a Utah education institute; Adam Deguire, Associate Vice President of Arizona State University; and Charles Haddow, CEO of the US company HPNA.

Matthew Salmon said that he was very proud of the establishment of the Confucius Institute at Arizona State University as early as 2007. Since the Confucius Institute has brought positive changes to the university faculty and students, Matthew said he will continue to support its development. He also said that currently US Congress and people still have some misunderstandings of the Confucius Institute, which required more efforts to deliver right messages to the public and let more people understand the Confucius Institute¡¯s important role in improving the relations between the two countries.

Curtis Bramble expressed that despite different histories and cultures of China and the US, both sides shared the similar expectations for future development. The Confucius Institute aims to promote Chinese language and culture to enhance cultural exchanges between both countries. He said that Utah established cooperation with Liaoning Province of China 11 years ago, and both sides send delegations to visit each other every two years. Such moves coincided with the purpose of the Confucius Institute, which is to strengthen understanding and cultural exchanges between the two countries, as well as promote mutual understanding between the two peoples.

Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman pointed out that Minnesota Department of Education has been enjoying long-term and sound cooperation with the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota and the Confucius Institute at St. Cloud State University, both of which have supported Chinese language teaching in Minnesota. She said, ¡°I believe that it is necessary for not only the US students but also the students worldwide to get access to an internationalized education, as in the 21st century, globalization and understanding other cultures are the essential skills people should be equipped with. We need to know more about multi-culture because we are living in a multiracial and multicultural era.¡±

On behalf of the business sector, Patti Gartland delivered a speech, in which he expressed his hope that more businessmen would take part in this dialogue and make their own voice heard to let more people realize the importance of mutual understanding and cultural cognition of the two countries, and appreciate the Confucius Institute¡¯s significant role in promoting China-US communication, thus pushing for the follow-up cooperation.

Zhao Guocheng extended his welcome to the guests, and also appreciated the contributions they have made to the development of the Confucius Institute and the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the US. He said that currently, the Confucius Institute has seen sustainable development worldwide. 531 Confucius Institutes have been established in 150 countries and regions, and the number is still growing.

He expressed that the misunderstanding of Confucius Institutes stemmed from the Cold War mentality of a few US politicians. He said, ¡°We should realize the fact that any language teaching will deliver mutual benefit and win-win results. Many Chinese people learn English because language learning is conducive to fostering young people¡¯s global perspective, as well as improving their ability to deal with international affairs. It does not make any sense to worry that patriotism will be compromised if a person learns foreign languages. On the contrary, for a country, encouraging its people to know more about foreign languages and cultures and gain further understanding of other countries will only enhance rather than weaken its own strength.¡± He also said that the doors of Confucius Institutes worldwide and the Confucius Institute Headquarters will always be open, and hoped that more people will get a deeper understanding of what Confucius Institutes have been doing to eliminate their misunderstandings.

In the following 10 days, the delegation will visit the Ministry of Education, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and have discussions with teachers and students of New York University Shanghai, Jian Ping High School and Anhui Normal University to feel China¡¯s development in education, economy, culture and other sectors.


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