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September 06, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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People in Fiji and around the region now have the opportunity to learn the official Chinese language by taking Mandarin courses offered by the Confucius Institute at the University of the South Pacific (USP) which was officially opened this opening.

In opening the institute, Prime Minister’s Office permanent secretary Pio Tikoduadua said the institution will also enhance culture exchange between the people of Fiji and the Republic of China.

Tikoduadua said the government will be supporting the initiative and also strengthening bilateral ties between Fiji and the People’s Republic of China.

The Confucius Institute was established at USP following an agreement between the University and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) with the approval of Hanban - the Confucius Institute headquarters.

Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra said about 70 students from various sectors like government departments, Chinese companies and tourist service providers will benefit from the new course.

Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Huang Yong said they love the colourful culture that Fiji and the Pacific have to offer.

Yong said China also assists Fiji in the agriculture sector, tourism, trade, mining, and infrastructures.

He said the Confucius Institute is all about peace, development, and culture.

The Chinese government will provide the institute with 8000 volumes of Chinese language books, six language teachers, and two volunteers.

By Ropate Valemei

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