Scottish First Minister launches Aberdeen Confucius Institute


EDINBURGH, Sept. 27 — Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond on Friday launched the Confucius Institute at the University of Aberdeen in northeast Scotland and expected strengthened bonds between Scotland and the Chinese side.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Salmond noted that the Scottish government is committed to strengthening the bonds through academic and cultural collaboration, alongside continuing governmental and business exchange.
“I’m delighted to open this newly-established Confucius Institute,” said Salmond, terming the development as the latest partnership to be forged for the mutual benefit of the Scottish citizens and the Chinese people.
He stressed that the Scottish government’s China Strategy has a clear and specific objective to expand and deepen education links between the two nations.
As the fourth Confucius Institute in Scotland, the Confucius Institute at the University of Aberdeen aims to further the interest and cultural exchange between the University, communities, schools, individuals and businesses of north-east Scotland and the Chinese side, and promote educational, economic, and cultural links.
A primary task of the Institute is to teach the Chinese language, organize cultural activities, including lectures and exhibitions, and support local businesses with information and assistance in engaging with the Chinese market.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen Ian Diamond described the University’s strong links with the Chinese side as a cornerstone of its internationalization strategy, expressing confidence on the role of the Institute to build on the growing interest in local communities and businesses in learning more about China, Chinese language and culture.
Diamond and Li Xiaohong, Principal of China’s Wuhan University, signed an official cooperation agreement as the Confucius Institute is a partnership between Aberdeen and Wuhan University.
Also present at the ceremony were Shen Yang, Minister Counsellor for Education at the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom, Li Ruiyou, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, and Co-directors of the Confucius Institute Barbara Fennell and Zhang Guoqing, among others.
Supported by Hanban, the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, more than 400 Confucius Institutes have been established in over 100 countries and regions.[db:内容2]