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Zheng Xiyuan Attends 2018 UK-Ireland Annual Confucius Institute Conference


On Sept. 11, 2018, Mr. Zheng Xiyuan, Consul General of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Manchester, was invited to attend the 2018 UK-Ireland Annual Confucius Institute (CI) Conference held at the University of Sheffield. Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, Gu Zhenqiu, President of the London Branch of Xinhua News Agency, Zhang Baojun, Vice-President of Beijing Language and Culture University, and about 100 host and Chinese directors of Confucius Institutes in the UK and Ireland participated in the event.

In his speech,
Consul General Zheng said that since the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in Manchester in 2006, nine Confucius Institutes and 13 Confucius classrooms have been set up. The Confucius Institutes have made significant achievements in promoting Sino-British cultural exchanges. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up to the outside world. President Xi Jinping pointed out that "reform and opening up to the outside world is a great cause for both China and the world to develop and progress together." At a new historical starting point, we should better run Confucius Institutes in the spirit of deepening reform and opening up, push forward with the cultural exchanges between the two countries, and use this cultural platform shared by the people of the two countries to promote mutual integration and exchanges in various fields.

The Annual CI Conference is organized by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban). The heads of 31 Confucius Institutes across the UK and Ireland attended this conference. Participants exchanged views on how to enhance the effectiveness and quality of CI's cultural activities and how to promote development and cooperation in various fields between China and UK and Ireland through CIs.

During the conference, Consul General Zheng Xiyuan held talks with Sir Keith Burnett to exchange their views on how to enhance student exchanges between China and the UK and on the construction of CI. Sir Keith is a member of the Council of the Royal Society and sits on the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013. He devotes himself to promoting cultural exchanges between China and the UK. To acknowledge his contribution, the Chinese government has twice awarded him honorary titles and invited him to serve as a member of the Global Council of Confucius Institutes.

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