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China to host second Confucius Institute Conference
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China will host the second Confucius Institute Conference from December 11 to 12, and expects to welcome more than 900 delegates from 64 countries and regions worldwide.

"The conference will focus on exchanging experiences of Chinese language teaching between China and foreign experts in an attempt to promote cooperation and teaching quality," Xu Lin, director of the Office of the Chinese Language Council International, said here Thursday.

The two-day conference will include training courses for presidents of Confucius Institutes and a forum on Chinese language teaching between presidents of the Confucius Institutes and universities from China and overseas, according to the office.

On the opening day, an exhibition will open to the public for one week, showing teaching materials for overseas Chinese learners and pupils' work from Confucius Institutes from across the world.

The opening ceremony will be held on December 11 at the Great Hall of the People.

The Confucius Institute, a non-profit public institute on Chinese language and culture education, was initiated in 2004 to satisfy the surging overseas demand for Chinese language learning. Up to now, 210 Confucius Institutes have been set up in 64 countries and regions.

Xu revealed that there will be some 500 Confucius Institutes all over the world by 2010.

China hosted the first Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing in July, 2006.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that currently 30 million people overseas are learning Chinese and the figure may hit 100 million by 2010.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2007)

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