The southern Ukrainian city of Nikolayev opened its first Chinese language and cultural center Wednesday.
The Center for Chinese Language and Culture is based at the Black Sea State University and has been established with help from Zhengzhou University of China in central China's Henan Province.
"The main reason for its creation is the popularization of Chinese culture in Ukraine," said Vladimir Romakin, director of the Black Sea State University's International Relations Department.
Romakin said more and more Ukrainians were interested in China and its culture, but had no opportunities to study in China. Therefore, the establishment of such institutions in Ukraine was important. About two dozen young people had expressed their wish to become students of the centre on its opening day.
"The study of Chinese language and culture is a window into the modern world," Romakin said, "Now a quarter of the world's population knows this language. Business representatives, financiers, employees of construction companies and travel agencies need it."
He said the center would also facilitate the exchange of students and teachers between Ukraine and China in the future.
Founders of the center are planning to open a Confucius Institute in Nikolaev in the near future.
There are three Confucius Institutes in Ukraine now, located in Kiev, Kharkov and Luhansk.
(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2011)