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17 July 2008
Professor Zhu Chongshi, President of Xiamen University, has officially inaugurated the Confucius Suite and Programme at Cardiff University’s Confucius Institute.
Working in collaboration with Xiamen University, the Institute, based at the Centre for Lifelong Learning will offer courses in Chinese language and culture to members of the community, public and private sector organisations, as well as university staff and students. It will also act as a focus for those involved in China-related research and teaching.
Cardiff and Xiamen are twin towns and their two Universities have very close links. Professor Siyi Fu, Deputy Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures at Xiamen University, herself a former staff member of the China Studies Centre at Cardiff, has returned to Wales to act as Academic Director of the new Institute.
President Zhu, who also received an honorary fellowship during his visit to Cardiff, said: "One of the most important missions of the Confucius Institute will be to enhance better understanding between Chinese people and the people of Wales. We are hoping that the Confucius Institute at Cardiff University will act like a bridge between the two countries."
Professor Fu, gave a presentation on the new courses to be launched over the summer at the Institute. These include programmes on Chinese language, culture and business. There will also be "Saturday Schools" looking at calligraphy, contemporary Chinese history and other aspects of the nation’s culture. The Institute is also looking to work with primary and secondary schools across Wales.
The Inauguration also included presentations from Cardiff University Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement, Professor Ken Woodhouse and Counsellor-Minister Tian Xiaogong from the Chinese Embassy in the UK. It was also be attended by representatives from the British Council, Welsh Assembly and Cardiff Council, all of whom have forged close links with the Cardiff Confucius Institute.
The event, at the Institute’s new suite at the Centre, was completed with President Zhu cutting a ceremonial ribbon. He presented the Institute with a hand-painted picture of Confucius from China, while the Head of the Centre, Dr Richard Evans, presented President Zhu with a pen marked with a Celtic knot. Xiamen has provided a number of decorations for the Confucius Suite, including Chinese knots to symbolize the links between the two Universities.
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