Approximately 30 million non-Chinese citizens are studying the Chinese language worldwide and the figure is likely to hit 100 million within 5 years, said official sources Thursday.
China will encourage the study of Chinese through setting up language institutes, improving network study and training more teachers, said officials with the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOTCFL) at an international conference held here Thursday.
Statistics show that Chinese courses are offered at 2,300 colleges in more than 100 nations.
Along with China's steady development and rising status internationally, the Chinese language has increasingly drawn the attention of governments. China's entry into the WTO in late 2001 and its successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games triggered a growing number of foreign Chinese learners, especially from the economic fields, according to NOTCFL officials.
China to Promote Chinese Language Learning Worldwide also plans to establish more centers for Chinese Proficiency Test, known as HSK test (Chinese language proficiency test for foreign learners). So far, some 139 test centers are available over the world and have received about 370,000 participants.
(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2004)