The Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia held a ceremony Thursday to celebrate the opening of its first Chinese-language class and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Zhang Jinfeng gave the first lecture titled "the History of Chinese and Cambodian Relationship."
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Zhang Jinfeng gives the first lecture at the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, January 21, 2010. [Xinhua photo]
The first class has 50 students from various ministries of the government, including the Council of Ministers, ministries of interior, defense, education and information, as well as some universities in the country.
Dr. Khlot Thyda, rector of the Royal Academy of Cambodia and the Confucius Institute, said that "the opening of its first Chinese-language class is of great significance for both sides, especially the big chance for our government officials to study and understand Chinese culture, as well as to promote the exchange of culture between the two countries."
The Confucius Institute in Cambodia, established on Dec. 22, 2009, was jointly run by the Royal Academy of Cambodia and China's Jiujiang University in Jiangxi Province.
On Dec. 22, 2009, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping unveiled the first Confucius Institute in Cambodia during his visit in Phnom Penh.
Zhang Jinfeng said that China and Cambodia have over 2,000 years of history of friendly exchanges. Since ancient times, China and Cambodia have learn from each other, and have made important contributions to the development and prosperity of oriental culture.
She also recalled the history that in 1955, Premier Zhou Enlai met with Norodom Sihanouk at the Bandung Conference that opened a new chapter in Sino-Cambodian relations.
In her nearly two-hour long lecture, Zhang said that at present, China and Cambodia have established comprehensive cooperative partnership and the two countries have a high degree of political trust and mutually beneficial economic cooperation in various fields, which she said, will be sure to achieve fruitful results, bringing the two peoples tangible benefits.
"I'm very glad to be a student of the first class of the Confucius Institute and listened the lecture given by the Ambassador Zhang," Long Chan Davy told Xinhua with exciting, adding that "I hope to learn more about China to promote the exchange of the culture of the two countries." She also expressed her hope that more and more Cambodians could come here to study Chinese culture.
Sok Chankrissna, student from a university, said that he wants to learn Chinese language "because Chinese language has become the one of the most vital languages in the world. So, more and more people want to grasp it."
"Cambodia and China have long history of friendship, and our Royal Government always pays a great attention to strengthen and develop the traditionally relations between our two countries," said Mam Chheang, student from government sector, adding "as a government official, I think it is very necessary to learn Chinese language to contribute to promoting and deepening the Cambodia and China friendship relations," he added.
The institute, which is the first in Cambodia, will offer a series of Chinese language programs to Cambodian learners and also offer training programs to Chinese language teachers here in the future, according to Wang Xianmiao, rector of the institute for the Chinese side.