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China, Mexico Sign Cultural Development Agreement

The governments of Mexico and China on Tuesday signed an agreement to promote the teaching of the Chinese language and culture in Mexico through a series of teaching institutions named after Chinese philosopher Confucius.

Mexican Education Secretary Reyes Tamez and his Chinese counterpart Zhou Ji signed the agreement at the sidelines of the sixth meeting of the E-9 ministers of education, in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey.

The four Confucius centers will be built at Mexico city's National Autonomous University, the country's largest educational institution, and the autonomous universities of Yucatan, Guadelajara and Nuevo Leon.

"I hope that more Confucius institutes will be opened across the world and that at the same time people in China will study more foreign languages like Spanish," said Chinese State Councilor Chen Zhili who also attended the signing ceremony.

E-9 is an educational organization of the world's most populous nations. The E-9 nations have 50 percent of the world's school-age population, 45 percent of the world's 100 million children who have never been educated, and around 70 percent of the world's 771million illiterate adults.

The two-day E-9 meeting began on Monday with the aim to promote educational cooperation among nine nations: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan.

(Xinhuan News Agency February 15, 2006)

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