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Confucius Enters Europe
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In a bid to expand its teaching of Chinese language and culture abroad, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) plans to establish four Confucius Institutes in Europe. 


"These will be our first overseas Confucius Institutes," said Zhang Xiping, director of overseas sinology. "We have been introducing foreign languages and cultures into China, now we are becoming more active in teaching our own language and culture."


The BFSU is a leading university of foreign languages in China and teaches a total of 42. It will jointly set up a Confucius Institute with Germany's University of Erlangen-Nuremberg early in May and three others in Italy and Belgium.


BFSU president Hao Ping told a symposium on the theme of "The Chinese Dream and a Harmonious World" that the university was attempting to share Chinese culture with people in other countries.


The Confucius Institute program was designed by the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language to promote Chinese being taught abroad by qualified teachers with good educational materials.


The first overseas Confucius Institute opened in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, in 2004. Europe's first was established in Stockholm University, Sweden, in February 2005.


(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2006)


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