PNG's first Confucius Institute inaugurated in second largest city

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SYDNEY, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The first Confucius Institute in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) was inaugurated in the country's second largest city of Lae on Saturday.

The PNG University of Technology (Unitech) will cooperate with Chongqing Normal University based in China's southwestern Chongqing Municipality to run the program. About 300 Unitech students and staff have applied for enrollment in the institute.

According to the Unitech, other two PNG universities, the University of Papua New Guinea and the University of Goroka, will open classrooms for the institute while the Unitech will be the coordinating center for teaching and learning activities.

Chinese Ambassador to PNG Xue Bing, PNG Governor-General Bob Dadae, Deputy Prime Minister Sam Basil, PNG Ambassador to China Don Sawong, Unitech Vice Chancellor Ora Renagi attended the inaugural ceremony.

Xue hailed the opening of the Confucius Institute as a milestone in education and people-to-people exchanges between China and PNG.

"It is a successful outcome of cooperation between the two universities, which provides a unique platform for deeper and diverse exchanges of language and culture between our two peoples," Xue said.

Dadae said that young people in PNG, through learning the Chinese language and culture, will bring more vitality to bilateral exchanges.

Renagi said the Unitech will attach importance to the development of the Confucius Institute. He said he believes the university could learn more about the Chinese culture and technological achievements with the help of language education provided by the institute, which will help train more professional personnel for his country. Enditem

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