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China Launches First Confucius Institute in Pakistan
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Chinese and Pakistani officials Monday unveiled the first Confucius Institute in the National University of Modern Language, Islamabad.


The institute forms part of China's efforts to better promote Sino-foreign language and cultural exchanges.


The training offered by the institute will help enhance cooperation in both economic and cultural fields, Javed Ashraf Qazi, Pakistani minister of education, said during the inauguration of the institute.


The institute will become a landmark in the two nations' friendly relations following in the footsteps of the Karakorum highway project, the Chinese Political Counselor to Pakistan Mao Siwei said.


The institute will focus on training Chinese-language teachers, running Chinese proficiency tests, and offering opportunities to qualified Pakistani students to study in China, according to Aziz Ahmad Khan, president of the National University of Modern Language, Islamabad. He added that the institute will also introduce Chinese culture to local people through various activities.


China and Pakistan signed an agreement in April 2005 to set up a Confucius Institute in the South Asian country.


Currently, there are over 140 Confucius institutes in more than 50 countries and regions.


(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2007)

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