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Palestinian leading university inaugurates 1st Confucius Institute

RAMALLAH, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Palestine on Monday celebrated the inauguration of the first Confucius Institute in the country at a leading university near East Jerusalem.

The ceremony, attended by Palestinian and Chinese academics and officials at the Al-Quds University, celebrated the official opening of the Confucius Institute at Al-Quds University, which offers Chinese language teaching and cultural exchanges.

Teachers and academics at the Palestinian university say the institute is important because it meets the growing Palestinian demand to learn Chinese language, enhance the Palestinian people's understanding of Chinese culture and consolidate the traditional friendship among the two peoples.

Imad Abu Kishek, a professor and president of Al-Quds University, said he is proud that his university is joining the wide network of affiliates of Confucius Institute around the world, which helps promote the bilateral relations between Palestine and China and also promote the university's international status.

President of China's Jiangxi Normal University Mei Guoping said that the cooperation with the leading Palestinian university would help improve the academic achievement on joint studies.

"The aim of Confucius Institute is to enhance people's understanding of Chinese language and culture, ... to promote China's friendly relations with the world and enhance the sustainable cultural development to build a harmony world," Mei said.

Al-Quds University first started offering courses in Chinese language in 2015. A year later, Confucius Institute Headquarters in China began sending Chinese teachers to the university.

In 2018, Al-Quds University and Confucius Institute signed an agreement on the establishment of Confucius Institute at the Palestinian university's premises, in partnership with Jiangxi Normal University.

Currently, Confucius Institute in Palestine offers Chinese language teaching and providing Chinese language teaching resources, and holding the HSK examination (Chinese Proficiency Test) and tests for the certification of the Chinese language teachers, as well as other language and cultural exchange activities.

Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Fadi Al-Hidmi told Xinhua that the importance of this institute is that it consolidates the historical ties between Palestine and China.

"The two nations are already in contact in the economic sphere, and China is a big supporter to the Palestinians, ... so it will add more to this momentum of excellent relationship between China and Palestine," he explained.

Founded in 1984, Al-Quds University provides undergraduate studies, higher education and community services within the Jerusalem district and many parts of the West Bank, with some 13,000 enrolled students currently.


As China's economy and exchanges with the world have seen rapid growth, there has also been a sharp increase in the world's demands for Chinese learning. Benefiting from the UK, France, Germany and Spain's experience in promoting their national languages, China began its own exploration through establishing non-profit public institutions which aim to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries in 2004: these were given the name the Confucius Institute.


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