China Inaugurates Confucius Institute U.S. Center in Washington
Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who's visiting the United States, inaugurated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center in Washington Wednesday.
Liu didn't give an address, but Minister of Education Yuan Guiren said in a speech at the ceremony that as the relationship between China and the rest of the world deepens, the global yearning to learn Chinese has experienced rapid growth, noting China has established over 430 Confucius Institutes around the world, with the United States accounting for 98 of them.
However, the growth means the schools and universities hosting the institutes are demanding higher quality services from Confucius Institutes headquarters in Beijing, said Yuan, adding that establishing a regional center in the United States can provide them with a closer-to-home service platform.
It can also offer the U.S. public an open and transparent channel to learn about Confucius Institutes, as well as a way for the institutes to conduct cooperation and resource sharing, he said.
Steven Knapp, president of the George Washington University who is to serve as president of the U.S. center council, the governing body of the center, said in his remarks that Confucius Institutes provide a unique platform for invaluable cultural educational opportunities for students and faculties across the United States, bringing together two cultures to create the exchange of knowledge, language and China studies.
"It's hard to imagine a deeper or richer way to build the partnership between our two great nations," said Knapp, adding the establishment of the U.S. center in Washington can make it easier for all universities which hosts Confucius Institutes or have partnership with them to access its advice and assistance, as well as improving the public understanding of the institutes and their programs.
The center is also to serve as a reliable source for its purpose and activities, and to engage in cooperation and interaction with the U.S. society, as well as providing assistance to all U.S. Confucius institutes, he said.