Chilean President Attends and Addresses the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University in Chile

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2017-11-28 18:35:59 

At 12 a.m. on November 21st, 2017, local time, Santo Tomas University in Chile held a grand 10th anniversary celebration of the Confucius Institute at its Latin America Center in Santiago, capital of Chile. Michelle Bachelet, Chilean President, Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, Haimi Watt, President of Santo Tomas University and Kuang Guangli, President of Anhui University, attended the event and delivered speeches upon invitation. In addition, over 100 people, including Eduardo Frei, former President of Chile, Ernesto Ottone, Minister of Culture of Chile, Claudio Orrego, Head of the Santiago Metropolitan Region, Patricio Victoriano, Director of Asia Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, dignitaries from the diplomatic, cultural and educational circles of Chile, and officials of the Chinese Embassy in Chile, attended the event.

Guests at the event

At the beginning of the ceremony, President Bachelet observed the cultural exhibition and Chinese class of the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University. During the cultural exhibition, President Bachelet watched the tea ceremony and on-site calligraphy, tasted the freshly brewed Chinese green tea and was presented with the Chinese name scroll written by a Chinese volunteer teacher. In the Chinese class, the students followed the teacher to learn how to buy fruit and to ask about the price in Chinese. The President also kindly talked with the local Chinese learners and asked about their Chinese learning. The students all showed great enthusiasm and interest in learning Chinese.

Observing the Chinese class

President Bachelet made an impassioned speech at the celebration. She first affirmed that the Confucius Institute, as a bridge, has made numerous contributions to the cultural exchange between Chile and China. Through the channel of various language and culture courses at the Confucius Institute, the profound Chinese culture has deeply influenced the Chilean people. The cultural promotion of the Confucius Institute save people of all ages in Chile a lot of trouble of going abroad and travelling across the Pacific to experience Chinese culture. This not only deepens mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples, but also benefits the two-way development in political and economic sectors.

Chilean President Bachelet delivering a speech

President Bachelet pointed out that she has had warm talks with President Xi Jinping at the recent the 25th APEC Economic Leaders¡¯ Meeting in Vietnam and witnessed the signing of the protocol on upgrading the Chile-China Free Trade Agreement. As the first South American country to establish diplomatic relations with China, Chile is also the first Latin American country to sign a free trade agreement with China. She believes that the common development of the two countries is an opportunity for the two peoples. With the rapid development of China's economy, it is clear that Chinese has become one of the most important languages in the world and will become one of the most competitive languages in the future. She hopes that the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University will continue to cultivate excellent Chinese language talents for Chile, thus facilitating exchanges in various sectors between the two countries. She also expressed the desire to learn Chinese at the Confucius Institute after leaving office next March.

Haimi Watt, President of Santo Tomas University, said in his speech that since its establishment, the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University has exerted great influence on university students and local people¡¯s understanding of China and witnessed the friendly exchanges between Chile and China. After a decade of development, batches of talents cultivated by the Confucius Institute have made contributions in various fields including culture, education, economy and trade in the region. With increasing trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries, the teaching sites of the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University have sprung up throughout the country in the past two years. Immersed in Chinese culture and guided by the new trend of world economic development, the students have not only broadened their horizons, but also gained a lot of experience. They are trying to seek opportunities in order to achieve their own life value and pursuit. This demonstrates that the Confucius Institute is an important part of the strategic plans of Chile and China and an indispensable part of the development of Santo Tomas University.

Kuang Guangli, President of Anhui University, mentioned in his speech that in the course of jointly building the Confucius Institute and deepening exchanges, Anhui University and Santo Tomas University have developed a profound friendship and achieved fruitful results. During the ten-year cooperation, Anhui University has received over 200 Chilean students and educational and cultural workers to study or conduct exchange visits in China.

In her speech, Jing Wei, Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Deputy Director-General of Hanban, pointed out that Santo Tomas University is a well-known private higher education institution in Chile and a long-standing intimate partner of the headquarters. In the past ten years, with the joint efforts of the two countries, the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University has attained fruitful achievements in school running. The number of local people participating in the various activities organized by the Confucius Institute has reached over 300,000, ranging from the elderly aged between 60 and 70 to children aged five or six. The Chinese learners in the Confucius Institute have also amounted to 12,000. The Confucius Institute at Thomas University has become a backbone force for Chinese teaching in Chile and an important platform for people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Chile, contributing greatly to promoting exchanges and cooperation of the two countries in various fields such as education, culture, economy and trade, science and technology, and enhancing mutual understanding among teachers, students and people. Deputy Director-General Jing Wei congratulated on the achievements made by the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University and thanked all the friends who have consistently supported the development of the Confucius Institute.

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

Ms. Jing Wei said that language is the best key to understanding a country, a bridge to promote exchanges and cooperation, and a bond to channel communication. Nowadays, as the free trade agreement between China and Chile is upgraded, the headquarters, standing at the new historical starting point, is willing to work together with people from all walks of life to continuously support the development of the Confucius Institute at Santo Tomas University, make due contributions to the in-depth development of the China-Chile comprehensive strategic partnership, and create a better future for mankind hand in hand.