Chinese language becoming more accessible
Belarusian capital hosts Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Europe
By Andrey Bely
The Confucius Republican Institute of Chinese Studies is to open rooms at the Belarusian State Economic University, at Grodno State University (named after Yanka Kupala), at Gomel State University (named after Frantsisk Skorina) and at Minsk’s Gymnasium #23. Anatoly Tozik, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister, made the announcement after the forum, noting that young people are increasingly keen to learn Chinese.
Five Belarusian schools and gymnasiums are already teaching Chinese as a separate language and more would like to follow suit, were teachers available. Mr. Tozik asked the Head of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, Xu Lin, to assist in this issue, offering to send teachers of Russian language to Chinese educational establishments in return.
Mr. Tozik is contented by the level of co-operation in the educational sphere between Belarus and China, as ever-increasing numbers of Belarusian students are going to China to study the language. Meanwhile, around 2,000 students, post-graduates and Master’s Degree students from China are studying at Belarusian universities. “There’s no doubt that the two branches of the Confucius Institute operating in Belarus are playing a great role in developing our humanitarian collaboration. At present, 640 people study Chinese at the Confucius Republican Institute of Chinese Studies, which opened at the BSU in 2007, while around 200 are studying Chinese at the Confucius Institute, located at the Minsk State Linguistic University,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.
The Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Europe, hosted by Minsk, was attended by over 250 representatives from 77 Confucius Institutes of Chinese studies, from 19 European countries — including Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Latvia. Employees from China’s five leading institutes also attended.