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China to Establish First Confucius College in Western Europe

China will build a Confucius College in the French city Poitiers this June, sources with the University of Nanchang, one of the founders of the new college, said Thursday in the capital of east China's Jiangxi Province.

The Confucius College, a non-profit school specializing in Chinese language education and culture communication, will be jointly built by the University of Nanchang, the University of Poitiers and ZTE Corporation of Shenzhen, according to the news office of the university.

The Confucius College program was designed by China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOTCFL) to promote Chinese teaching in the world and provide excellent teachers and learning materials to overseas Chinese learners.

One hundred Confucius Colleges will be built around the world in the near future, according to the NOTCFL's program.

Just as Germany's Goethe Institutes and Spain's Cervantes Institutes are named after Dominant cultural figures from those countries, the Chinese learning institutions are named after Confucius, the leading representative of Chinese culture.

The first overseas Confucius College was opened in Seoul, South Korea in 2004. Europe's first Confucius College was established in Stockholm University of Sweden last month.

(Xinhua News Agency March 12, 2005)

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