The Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia on Monday opens a Center for Chinese- language classes for Cambodian soldiers at the brigade No. 70 in the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
Khlot Thyda, the president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said during the opening ceremony that the center will help build capacity for Cambodian soldiers through language ability and will enable them to learn more about Chinese culture.
"Through this Chinese language training, it will be a bridge for Cambodian troops at the brigade No. 70 to learn in China one day in the future," she said.
The director of the Confucius Institute, Wang Xianmiao, said that the first class will take in 50 students. "The course will be free of charge," he said.
"I believe that in the future, Cambodian troops will be proficient in speaking and writing Chinese language and understand more about Chinese culture," he said.
Mao Sophann, commander of the brigade No. 70 of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, expressed thanks to China for supporting Cambodian soldiers to learn Chinese language and promised to encourage more troops to start learning Chinese.
"It will contribute to building their capacity as currently Chinese language has been used widely across the world," he said.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the Chinese military attach to Cambodia Zhang Jianlin and Gan Xiaoying, rector of China 's Jiujiang University.
The Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia was opened in Cambodia in December, 2009.
So far, the institute has four branches in the country: the Chinese Language Center in Phnom Penh's Asia-Europe University; Meanchey University in Banteay Meanchey province; Hun Sen Koh Thom Secondary School in Kandal province; and the brigade No. 70.
There have been about 1,000 students learning; nearly half of them are offered to study Chinese language free of charge.
(Xinhua News Agency March 30, 2011)