Liu Yandong Sends a Congratulatory Letter on Convening of 10th National Chinese Language Conference in the US

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2017-04-10 13:14:59 

From Apr. 6th to 8th, 2017, with the theme of A Decade of Progress, the 10th National Chinese Language Conference in the US, co-organized by the Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, the College Board and the Asia Society, was convened in Houston, Texas of the US. Over 1300 representatives, including education officials, presidents of primary schools, middle schools and high schools as well as experts and teachers in Chinese teaching from the US, the UK and Canada, attended the conference.

Students from Houston Independent School District reciting Tang Poem Chun Xiao in the opening performance

Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who is also President of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, sent a letter to congratulate the convening of the conference. Liu Yandong pointed out that this conference coincides with President Xi Jinping¡¯s visit to the US and his important meeting with President Donald Trump. The meeting between the two heads of state will chart the course for the future development of Sino-US relations, opening a new chapter for bilateral relations. Liu Yandong recalled that when she attended the 4th National Chinese Language Conference six years ago, she met over 1500 educators from all walks of life in the US. She was so touched by the heated atmosphere that she could still remember every detail of the conference. Liu Yandong expressed gratitude to all hard-working and dedicated educators in Chinese teaching in the US for their unique contributions to deepening the cultural exchanges between China and the US.

Liu Yandong also indicated that language is the bridge connecting people¡¯s hearts. The fact that the two peoples of China and the US enhance mutual learning of each language and increase people-to-people and cultural exchanges has a long-lasting and profound significance to further the practical cooperation between the two countries, achieves mutual benefits and win-win results, and promotes the peace and prosperity of the world as well as human well-being. Liu Yandong spoke highly of the National Chinese Language Conference, and regarded it not only as an important platform for sharing experience of language teaching and promoting mutual learning, but also a crucial brand of nongovernmental contact as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the US. She expressed her wish that the National Chinese Language Conference will enjoy a more promising future and make greater contribution to deepening people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the US as well as to advancing the peace and friendships around the world.

The full text of the congratulatory letter from Vice Premier Liu Yandong

The 41th US President George H. W. Bush and the 43th US President George W. Bush also sent congratulatory letters to this conference. George H. W. Bush pointed out in his letter that, as one of the first US diplomats to China in 1974, he and his wife Barbara fully understood the great significance of Sino-US relations, and they also realized that speaking Chinese could play a crucial role after arriving in Beijing. George H. W. Bush thought that the attendees to the conference shoulder the mission of fostering next generation of global citizens, so teaching them Chinese seems to be more important than ever in enhancing Sino-US relations, and their dedication is worthy of praises.

In his congratulatory letter, George W. Bush said that learning foreign languages including Chinese is beneficial to American youngsters, for they can not only make contributions to the country but also enrich their lives in this way. Moreover, he praised the selfless dedication of the attendees, and sent his gratitude to them as they create opportunities for the younger generation of the US, and help make the US into a better and much popular country.

Richard A. Carranza, Superintendent of Houston Independent School District, David W. Leebron, President of Rice University, Ronnie C. Chan, Co-chairman of the Asia Society, Linda Liu, Vice President of the College Board, and Jing Wei, Deputy Director-General of Hanban and Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, attended the conference and delivered speeches.

Co-chairman of the Asia Society Ronnie C. Chan delivering a speech

Vice President of the College Board Linda Liu delivering a speech

Deputy Director-General of Hanban and Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Jing Wei delivering a speech

In the opening ceremony, primary school students from the Confucius Classroom and the Confucius Institute of Houston Independent School District gave wonderful performances, such as reciting Tang Poems and singing Chinese songs. New Silk Road Explorers, a band composed of Chinese and American musicians, played some music mixed with Chinese and western elements like ¡°Kangding Love Song¡± and ¡°Two Dancing Fairies¡±, and shared their feelings from their exchanges and cooperation.

Professor Liu Yuening from Central Conservatory of Music and her New Silk Road Explorers performing

During the conference, there will be 6 pre-conference seminars, 4 subject plenary sessions titled Experience and Future, Sports is the Ambassador of Culture and People, Witness and Activate a Comprehensive Sino-US Relations, Thoughts on the Past Decade, and ninety-three symposiums. At the same time, there will be a Chinese teaching resources exhibition and the attendees will be organized to visit 12 Chinese-program schools with local characteristics. The themes designed by the conference are closely related to the future development and reality of Chinese teaching in the US, which will provide a platform for teachers of Chinese teaching from the US mainstream schools to share and exchange teaching experience.

Since 2008, the National Chinese Language Conference has been held once a year, which is the largest-scale Chinese teaching seminar wholly recognized by the US education circle. The total number of attendance exceeds 10,000 at present. It is hailed as the ¡°Davos¡± of Chinese language teaching in the US.

Up to now, China has established 513 Confucius Institutes and 1074 Confucius Classrooms in 140 countries, with 2.1 million students in total. There are 110 Confucius Institutes and 501 Confucius Classrooms in the US, which is the country with most Confucius Institutes and Classrooms. Meanwhile, the number of registered students learning Chinese in the US is up to 300,000, ranking the first in the world.