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New Confucius Classroom launched in Melbourne
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A new Confucius Classroom was jointly launched in Melbourne Tuesday by the PenLeigh and Essendon Grammar School and the Shanghai Datong High School.

The program, which is designed to teach and promote Chinese to foreigners, is supported by Hanban, the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International, and authorized by the Confucius Institutes Headquarters.

Shen Weilian, Chinese consul general in Melbourne, said at the opening ceremony that, with China's opening-up and increasing engagement with the outside world, the practical and potential value of Chinese as a business language was on the rise.

Learning Chinese had become increasingly popular in many countries, Shen said.

The new Confucius Classroom would serve as a place both for learning Chinese and spreading the Chinese culture, he said.

The consul general hoped the classroom would work as a bridge for both peoples to communicate and boost their traditional friendship.

More than 1,500 students are studying Chinese at the PenLeigh and Essendon school.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2010)

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