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Brazil opens second Confucius institute for youngsters
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The Brasilia Confucius Institute on Monday started its first academic year to teach Chinese language and introduce Chinese culture.

It was the second such Chinese school in Brazil.

Both were formed to promote language and cultural exchanges between China and Brazil.

"With the platform installed, we can add many accessories. For example, we can organize cultural events, competitions on knowledge about China and also we can select the best students to do internships in China," said Shu Jianping, cultural councilor from the Chinese embassy in Brazil.

Brazilian students are expected to take part in this year's "Chinese Bridge Competition" which they participated in 2008 and 2009 only as observers.

The Chinese Bridge Competition is a speech contest for foreign Chinese-speakers.

"I think the Brazilians deserve the participation, because it is such an important country. And, like China, it is an emerging economy," the embassy official added.

Local Brazilians also spoke highly of the Confucius institute which they take as a bridge for expanding bilateral cooperation.

"The inauguration of the Confucius Institute in Brasilia is the first major step along a long road of cooperation, which is a reciprocal demand coming from both sides.

"The institute will respond to this demand and will be a milestone in this cooperation not only concerning the language but also contributing to cultural and scientific exchanges," said Ana Flavia Granja, international affairs advisor for the University of Brasilia, where the Brasilia Confucius Institute is based.

Institute director Chen Jiaying said he believes that making Chinese language better known in Brazil will contribute to improving relations between the two countries in other fields.

"I think mutual understanding is the basis for relations in all other areas. Knowing each other, we will have better results for developing relations in other fields," he said.

The director has noticed that the number of Brazilian students taking interest in learning Chinese is on the rise, now with two groups of beginners instead of just one for a semester.

(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2010)

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