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Chinese Confucius Institute to be set up in Madagascar
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A Chinese Confucius Institute will be set up at Antananarivo University under an agreement signed here on Wednesday.

The institute was created in order to strengthen educational cooperation between China and Madagascar and support and promote Chinese language teaching in the island country, said the agreement singed by Antananarivo University President Rajerison Wilson Adolphe and Chinese Ambassador to Madagascar Li Shuli.

In his speech during the signing ceremony, Rajerison said the cooperation between China and Madagascar has come to its 35th anniversary and lots of things have been realized in many fields.

"In the field of the university, we are going to start this cooperation with the creation of the Confucius Institute", he added.

He expressed hope that the cooperation with China would be expanded gradually in the coming years.

Li said that the agreement was strongly significant as it inaugurated a new sector of cultural and substantial educational cooperation between China and Madagascar.

He explained that it was a nonprofit organ to bring Chinese culture and language to the world, enhance its friendship relations with other countries and defend the world's cultural diversity.

The institute would provide an interactive platform through which the Chinese people could better know Madagascar and vice versa, the ambassador said.

Founded in 1965, the state-owned Antananarivo University is the largest university in the island country of Madagascar. With teaching staff of over 600, the university now has more than 13, 000 students, including some 100 from other African countries, in four faculties and three high schools.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)

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