In Beijing, a senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official has pledged support for ongoing efforts to maintain Chinese language education internationally, and to provide additional support to promote Chinese language learning worldwide.
Ding Xuexiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice premier of the State Council, expressed the commitments in a keynote speech at the 2023 World Chinese Language Conference, last month.
Acknowledging that language is an avenue to promote cultural exchanges and dialogue among diverse civilizations, Ding explained that China will continue to promote high quality language teaching. He added that the country will continue to open up its education sector, and encourage language studies and international exchanges for students of all ages, particularly young people.
While addressing his audience, he also called for a more comprehensive and inclusive framework for international Chinese language education—emphasizing efforts to work with all relevant parties to ensure the efficient operation and management of Confucius Institutes and other Chinese language curricula. Despite the closure of nearly all such centers in the US, there remain over 500 institutes worldwide.
Ding stated that China supports and continues to encourage international organizations to include Chinese among their official languages, and welcomes the use of Chinese language on the world stage.
The three-day conference, at which Ding spoke, had as its theme “Chinese for the World, Openness into the Future.” Approximately 2,000 guests from China and overseas attended, including government officials and experts on Chinese language education.
In addition to speeches and seminars, numerous panels and forums discussed and debated issues such as the development of Confucius Institutes and academic systems for international Chinese language education.