Remarks by Ambassador Mr. QU Zhe at the Celebration of Confucius Institute Day

Dear teachers, students and families,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to attend this celebration on the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the Confucius Institute, namely the Confucius Institute Day. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Estonia, I would like to convey my sincere greetings to teachers and students at this event, and express my heartfelt gratitude to all Estonian friends who have greatly supported the development of Confucius Institutes!

China is a country with time-honored civilization, and has an uninterrupted history of more than 5,000 years. Confucius is a great thinker and educator of China who lived more than two thousand years ago. He lived in an era that hundreds of schools of thoughts thrived. The Chinese civilization is one of the most important sources of world civilization. Since ancient times, loyalty, piety, propriety, righteousness and benevolence have been our nation's value passed from generation to generation.

Chinese is one of the oldest languages of the world. It is also the common language with a longest using history and largest number of speakers in the world. During the past three decades of reform and opening up, with China's rapid development and deepening external cooperation, the Chinese culture has become increasingly popular in many parts of the world, the global interests in understanding China become stronger and stronger, and learning Chinese has been a craze worldwide. Since 2004, more than 400 Confucius Institutes and 600 Confucius Classrooms have been established, with a total of more than 1 million students. Confucius Institutes have become an important platform for exchanges between Chinese and foreign cultures.

In recent years, with the further development of China-Estonia relations, the enthusiasm of the Estonians to learn Chinese, understand China and do business with Chinese people is on the rise. In September 2010, Guangxi University of China and Tallinn university of Estonia jointly established the Confucius Institute. For the past five years, the Confucius Institute of Tallinn University in meeting the demand of Estonians to learn Chinese, has not only made positive contributions for enhancing mutual understanding between the two peoples, but also provided opportunities for young Estonians to learn Chinese language, and understand the oriental country in depth.

The mutual beneficial cooperation and friendly exchanges between the two countries has much potential in the field of trade, investment, tourism, culture and education. And this will provide the students who learn Chinese and master the linguistic and professional skill with more career opportunities.

I find most of you today are young people, and young people are bright, open, good at learning new knowledge, and willing to communicate with each other. You are the hope and future of China-Estonia friendship. It is my sincere hope that more young friends from Estonia will come to Confucius Institutes to learn Chinese, to appreciate the Chinese culture, to make Chinese friends, to become ambassadors of China-Estonian friendship, and to devote yourselves to facilitating the exchanges and cooperation and promoting the friendship between China and Estonia.

Finally, I wish the Confucius Institute of Tallinn University every success in its future endeavors, the students progress in their studies, and the teachers a happy life!

Thank you.

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