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New Zealand the first Western developed country to launch a nationwide Chinese Language Week

Chinese Embassy in New Zealand

29 Apr 2018

On April 26, 2018, Ambassador Wu Xi attended the Launching Ceremony of the 2018 New Zealand Mandarin Language Assistants (MLA) Training Program held at Victoria University of Wellington and delivered a speech.

Ambassador Wu noted that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, people-to-people exchange between China and New Zealand has made remarkable progress. The promotion of Chinese language in New Zealand is a great success with 70,000 primary and middle school students learning Chinese and 450 primary and secondary schools offering Chinese language courses. For two consecutive years, Mandarin has become New Zealand's number one foreign language. New Zealand is also the first Western developed country to launch a nationwide Chinese Language Week. Chinese language teaching plays an important role in promoting people-to-people exchange between China and New Zealand. Confucius said "If three men are walking together, one of them is bound to be good enough to be my teacher." China's Reform and Opening up is a process of actively engaging with the rest of the world, as well as a course of mutual learning. China consistently advocate promoting mutual learning and drawing on all that is good created by different countries, including New Zealand. Ambassador Wu expressed her gratitude to all the individuals and organisations for their support towards the promotion of Chinese language. She encouraged the MLAs to continue their good work, expecting them to be active cultural ambassadors and solid bonds connecting the two countries.

Tony Browne, Chairman of the Confucius Institute and former New Zealand Ambassador to China, and Jennifer Windsor, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, addressed the audience, expressing their gratitude to the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand for their long-standing support for the MLA program. They both noted that the Program has not only enriched the life experience of young people in both countries, but also effectively promoted cultural exchanges and bilateral relations.

A total of 300 people attended the ceremony, including the Chinese and New Zealand directors of the three Confucius Institutes in New Zealand, language teaching experts and Mandarin language assistants.

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