Vice Premier Liu Yandong Visits DUT Confucius Institute in South Africa

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarter (Hanban) [Time]    2017-04-28 16:14:02 

On the afternoon of Apr. 26th, 2017 local time, Vice Premier Liu Yandong visited the Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology (DUT). Jiang Xiaojuan, Deputy Secretary General of the State Council, Zhang Ming, Vice Foreign Minister, Tian Xuejun, Vice Education Minister, Yu Weiping, Vice Finance Minister, Zhang Xiaolan, Vice President of the All-China Women's Federation, Li Song, Charge d'Affaires ad Interim of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, Ma Jianfei, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hon. Mthandeni Dlungwana, Pillay, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Vice Premiers of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa , Mduduzi Comfort Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training of South Africa, Cllr Zandile Gumede, Mayor of Durban City and Thandwa Mthembu, Principal of DUT accompanied her visit.

With shining sun and gentle sea breeze, the auditorium at DUT Ritson Campus was well decorated, and people there were waiting for the visit of Vice Premier Liu Yandong and the delegation of the Chinese government to DUT Confucius Instituture£­another grand event of the China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM).

Local children presenting a bouquet to Liu Yandong

At about 2 p.m., Vice Premier Liu Yandong and her delegation arrived at the campus, and received a warm welcome from officials of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Ministry of Higher Education and Training of South Africa. Young college students sang and danced, and welcomed the distinguished guests from afar with the grandest ceremony of the Zulu people. A little boy presented a bouquet to Liu Yandong, and she shook hands cordially with the teachers and students.

Liu Yandong visiting picture exhibition at DUT Confucius Institute

At the auditorium entrance, the picture exhibition showed in time order the huge development and changes of Chinese language teaching and China-South Africa people-to-people and cultural exchanges during the decade since the Confucius Institute was established in South Africa in 2007. Liu Yandong watched the exhibition carefully and listened earnestly to the explanation of the leader of Hanban.

Upon entering into the auditorium, over 300 teachers and students welcomed Liu Yandong with lasting applause. Students of the Confucius Institute arranged elaborately artistic show in the form of scene play: ebullient traditional South African dance in collaboration with the beautiful dance of the Zhuang ethnic group of China, spectacular Chinese martial arts, profound recitation with music, and chorus Tomorrow Will Be Better, all winning thunderous applause and cheers from the audience.

Liu Yandong delivered a warm speech, saying that she was pleased to come to Durban, the garden city and international conference capital, and visited Africa's famous science and engineering university, DUT. The students¡¯ fluent Chinese and wonderful performance made her feel deeply the friendliness and enthusiasm of the people of the ¡°Rainbow Nation¡± and the profound friendship between China and South Africa.

Liu Yandong introduced that the purpose of the visit is to implement the important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and President Zuma and to launch the ¡°China-South Africa High-Level PPEM¡±. This is the first high-level PPEM between China and Africa, and an important move for the implementation of the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Liu Yandong pointed out that ¡°distance cannot separate true friends who feel so close even when they are thousands of miles apart.¡± China and South Africa are far apart, but the friendly exchanges between the two peoples boast a long history. For a long time, the two peoples understand and support each other in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism and striving for independence and liberation, forging a profound friendship. Since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998, the relations between the two countries have been developing comprehensively, realizing the ¡°triple jump¡± from partnership, strategic partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership and accomplishing the historic leap in the development of bilateral relations in big strides. It is safe to say that China's relations with South Africa are a model of unity and cooperation between developing countries. In recent years, the two countries have experienced frequent exchanges of high-level visits and close communications, which promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and South Africa to develop at a higher level and in a broader scope. China-South Africa relations have entered the best period of history and embraced historic development opportunities. China is willing to join hands with South Africa as always to promote friendly cooperation between China and South Africa and that between China and Africa at large to yield more fruits and better benefit the two peoples.

Liu Yandong giving a speech

Liu Yandong stressed that between people holds the key to sound relations between states, and such amity grows out of close interactions between the peoples. People-to-people exchange is the communication of hearts and feelings, as well as the foundation and destination of friendly cooperation between countries. Start with language, the Confucius Institutes construct via cultural blend a bridge for linking hearts and deepening friendship, serving as an important platform for exchange and mutual learning between different civilizations. The leaders of China and South Africa attach great importance to the construction and development of Confucius Institutes. In March 2013, President Xi Jinping firstly visited Africa, and witnessed jointly with President Zuma the signing of the agreement on DUT Confucius Institute. In 2015, the South African government announced to list Chinese into its national education system, and China dispatched actively experts to assist the completion of the Chinese teaching syllabus for primary and secondary schools. With the joint efforts of both China and South Africa, 10 Confucius Institutes and classrooms in South Africa have made important contributions to serving the local people to learn Chinese and understand Chinese culture and enhancing understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

Liu Yandong pointed out that civilization is like water that moistens things silently. The diversity of human civilization is the basic characteristic of the world. The exchange and mutual learning between civilizations is an essential driving force promoting human progress and world peaceful development. Each civilization is a continuation of the spiritual blood of a nation and its people, which needs pass-down and protection from generation to generation as well as strengthened exchanges and mutual learning. She expressed hope that the two countries will continue to cooperate sincerely and work together to make the Confucius Institutes a ¡°rainbow bridge¡± for heart connection between the two peoples and make new contributions to promoting people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and South Africa and the development of world civilization.

Liu Yandong presenting 50 language lab devices to DUT Confucius Institute

In the end, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Confucius Institute headquarters (Hanban), Liu Yandong announced to present 50 language lab devices to the institute; and invited 100 South African youth to China to participate in the ¡°Chinese Bridge¡± summer camp.

A group photo of Liu Yandong with teachers and students at DUT Confucius Institute

Thandwa Mthembu, Principal of DUT and Mduduzi Comfort Manana, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training of South Africa delivered a speech respectively before the artistic show, extending their best wishes to constructing well the Confucius Institute and deepen the friendship between China and South Africa.