A Chinese state councilor said on Friday that the Confucius Institute is facing a "new starting point", calling for increased cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries via the institution.
Li Changchun (R), Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, shakes hands with the awarded student at the opening ceremony of the fifth conference of Confucius Institutes in Beijing, capital of China, on Dec. 10, 2010.
While addressing the opening ceremony of the fifth conference of Confucius Institutes in Beijing, Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong said that the institute is being offered new opportunity given exchanges of the diverse cultures in the world and China's wider opening-up.
"After five years' development, the Confucius Institute is now standing at a new starting point," said Liu, also president of the Confucius Institute headquarters council.
The Confucius Institute, named after ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is a non-profit public institution which aims to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries.
Up to now, China has set up more than 320 Confucius Institutes in 96 countries around the globe since the first one was established in 2004, said Liu.
Li Changchun, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, also attended the opening ceremony of the annual conference.