A visiting Chinese educational delegation signed a letter of intent on Monday with Egypt's Cairo University on jointly setting up a Confucius Institute.
"Promoting Chinese language teaching is beneficial not only to economic, educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation, but also to the enhancement of understanding and friendship between the two peoples," said Assistant Education Minister Zheng Shushan, head of the Chinese delegation.
"Both sides have agreed to jointly provide human resources, material and financial support to the forming and administration of the Confucius Institute within Cairo University," Zheng added.
During a meeting with Cairo University President Ali Abdel Rahman Yusef, Zheng said that the Chinese side was interested in helping Cairo University improve its capabilities and levels of Chinese language teaching.
"We also wish to provide more learning opportunities for Egyptian students majoring in Chinese language as well as other Egyptians who are interested in learning Chinese," he said.
Rahman Yusef said that Cairo University was willing to continue cooperation with the Chinese side to push forward with the forming of the Confucius Institute.
Cairo University, set up in 1908, was one of the most prestigious universities in Egypt.
It set up a Chinese-language department and began to teach Chinese in October 2004.
Confucius, born in BC 551, was a great Chinese thinker, philosopher, statesman and educator. He was also the founder of Confucianism.
Advocating the building of a harmonious society through individuals' self-refinement in manners and taste, Confucianism dominated the Chinese society for centuries, and was spread to Europe in the late 16th century.
In an effort to promote Chinese language and culture abroad, the Chinese government plans to set up 100 Confucius Institutes around the world to help foreigners learn Chinese.
(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2006)