The Confucius Institute (CI) at Purdue University hosted a one-day training seminar in West Lafayette Friday for directors of 16 CIs in the United States.
"With the growth of the CIs in the United States and globally, CIs have developed a visible presence on university campuses and are becoming widely recognized as major centers for the support of the Chinese culture and language instruction," said Wei Hong, director of the Confucius Institute at Purdue University.
"In order to support CIs and let the world gain a better understanding of China, we come up with the idea to collaborate with Hanban to organize a U.S. CI directors media training seminar by inviting media experts, reporters and professors to give lectures and speeches on subjects of public diplomacy, branding and effective media interaction to directors of U.S. CIs," said Wei.
Hanban is the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International. It is a non-governmental and non-profit public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.
In his keynote speech, Chu Maoming, deputy consul general of China's Consulate General in Chicago highlighted the important role played by CIs in enhancing communications between China and the rest of the world.
Chu encouraged directors of CIs to take initiative to face the media, respect the media and make friends with the media to create a win-win situation.
He also suggested CI directors to adopt different approaches, such as writing blogs to explain their ideas when encountering misunderstanding.
At the seminar, Carolyn Curiel, former U.S. ambassador to Belize and senior speech writer to former president Bill Clinton, introduced the U.S media perspective and shared her point of view of how to cooperate with the U.S. media.
Confucius Institute, a non-profit education organization, was first established in Seoul, South Korea in 2004, with a mission to promote the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language, to strengthen educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other countries. There are more than 280 CIs all over the world and more than 80 CIs in the United States so far.
(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2010)