"Chemical reaction" arises in Chinese, British people's way of thinking, lifestyle: Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that the essence of Chinese and British cultures has brought a fantastic "chemical reaction" into their own people's way of thinking and lifestyle through people-to-people exchanges.

Xi made the remarks while addressing an opening ceremony of an annual meeting of Confucius Institutes in Britain.

Welcomed by students of the institutes with a Chinese song and one of Xi's poems, the Chinese president hailed the passion and painstaking efforts of as well as achievements made by staff members of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms to introduce Chinese culture, communicate people's minds and build friendship between Chinese and people around the world.

Thanks to activities like 2015 China-UK Year of Cultural Exchanges, people-to-people exchanges between China and Britain have been growing rapidly in recent years, further strengthening the grass-root foundation of bilateral ties.

"I am glad to see that there are so many teachers and students teaching and learning Chinese language, and that so many people interested in it here," said Xi, adding that the Confucius Institute is an important platform for the world to understand China.

Xi said the Institutes and Classrooms, as windows and bridges for linguistic and cultural exchanges between China and the world, have played an active role in facilitating people around the world to learn Chinese language and understand its culture.

In addition, they have also made important contributions to China's people-to-people exchanges with the world, as well as the development of a diverse and colorful world civilization, Xi said.

"It's very important the president comes to support the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms around the UK, and I think it helps our relations to be strengthened over the next few years," Steve Bradley, professor of Economics with Lancaster University, told Xinhua.

So far, Britain, with 150,000 Chinese students studying here, has established 29 Confucius Institutes and 126 Confucius Classrooms on its soil, both ranking first among European countries.

Since the introduction of China-Britain mechanism for high-level cultural exchanges in 2012, the two countries have seen vigorous exchanges in education, technology, media, sports, public health, tourism, youth and other fields.

In his speech, Xi expressed hope that Confucius Institute teachers make greater contribution to the China-Britain relations and the diversity of world civilizations.

For his part, Prince Andrew voiced his support for the development of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms and encouraged more British children to learn the Chinese language.

Xi is currently on the fourth day of his state visit to Britain, the first one by a Chinese president in a decade.

Source: Xinhua