Confucius institutes in the United States will spearhead efforts to promote Chinese language and culture, said an educator from of one of the institutes.
These institutes will create more learning opportunities by offering Chinese-language classes in U.S. communities as well as primary and high schools, Liu Jiangang, associate director of the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, told the 2010 Confucius Institute Directors Forum held at his university in northwest Indiana on Saturday.
The institutes also plan to host music festivals to boost the image of Chinese art and culture, Liu said.
"There are more than 66 Confucius institutes in the United States and we will establish more in the future, with their quality steadily improved," Liu told Xinhua after the meeting.
"As China's economy has been growing fast in recent years, more and more Americans get interested in China and some even seek better career prospects in China," said Liu.
He was echoed by Yang Yiping, associate director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, who told the forum U.S. companies also need employees with skills and knowledge of the the global markets, particularly in China and East Asia.
Yang said Confucius institutes in the United States have in the past two years offered opportunities to nearly 100 American students to visit China to gain first-hand experience.
One of them is a graduate of the Confucius institute, who worked as a volunteer at the Shanghai World Expo from April to September, Yang said.
Confucius institutes are non-profit public organizations committed to promoting understanding of the Chinese language and culture worldwide.
(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2010)