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Remarks by Ambassador Yue at Global Model Confucius Institute Unveiling Ceremony for UCD Confucius Institute
(2019-03-04)

Distinguished Vice Minister Tian,

Distinguished President Andrew Deeks,

Faculty members, students,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good afternoon!

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Vice-Minister Tian Xuejun on his visit to Ireland and my hearty congratulations on the bountiful results so far achieved by the Chinese education delegation. The fact that Vice-Minister Tian has led a delegation from the Ministry of Education to visit Ireland and to hold the 5th Meeting of the China-Ireland Joint Working Group on Education with the Department of Education and Skills fully manifests the importance the Chinese government attaches to China-Ireland relations and its sincere willingness to further expand cooperation in education and culture between our two countries.

A paragon of exchanges and cooperation in language and culture between China and Ireland, the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland well deserves the title of Global Model Confucius Institute. Over the years it has made remarkable achievements in the teaching and research of Chinese language and culture. The flagship building of the UCD Confucius Institute, jointly funded by the governments of China and Ireland as well as UCD, is unique in the world. This successful project embodies the vision and wisdom of leaders at all levels and friendly endeavors of all sides. Here, I would especially like to express my sincere reverence and gratitude to President Deeks and your team for your consistent commitment and dedication. The success of the UCD Confucius Institute is the outcome of the continuous development of China-Ireland relations. Along with the hard work of Director Mr. Liming Wang, Chinese Director Mr. Zhang Wei, faculty members and volunteers of the Confucius Institute, those achievements are also attained through the support from the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Irish Department of Education and Skills, Hanban, UCD and Renmin University of China. I am confident that through our joint efforts, the friendship and exchanges between China and Ireland will continue to consolidate and develop, and the prospects for education collaboration between us will certainly become brighter.

It should be noted that the success of the UCD Confucius Institute also reflects the wish and demand of the Irish people to learn Chinese and understand the Chinese culture, and the broad consensus across the Irish society on promoting friendship and cooperation with China. We for our part are more than ready to make positive response and spare no effort in this mutually beneficial endeavor .

Ladies and gentlemen, the Confucius Institute serves not only as a platform for the teaching and learning of the Chinese language, but also as a platform for interaction and integration between the Chinese culture and other cultures. As Confucius put it, "Teaching and learning are mutually enhancing." The Irish and the Chinese people are both hardworking, intelligent and good. Ireland has a long history with a splendid language and culture. It would benefit us immensely to draw upon Ireland’s contribution to European and even to the world civilization. We are delighted to see that according to the “Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education 2017-2026” of the Department of Education and Skills, the Chinese language will be included in the Irish High School curriculum from 2020 and will officially become a leaving certificate subject in 2022. It is much welcome and laudable historic hallmark in the teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language, to which we are most ready to make our contributions.

We just ushered in the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig earlier this month. In the Chinese tradition, the zodiac of “pig” indicates fullness, auspiciousness and common prosperity. The Chinese character of “Jia” (home), connoting happiness and contentment, is structured as a piglet sheltered by the roof of a house. The Chinese character of “Zhu” (pursue), as in “pursuing a dream”, is composed of two parts, a piglet and a posture of striding. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all prosperity and happiness. I am sure that both China and Ireland will seize the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries to realize our beautiful dreams. Finally, let me wish Vice Minister Tian’s visit to Ireland a consummate success.

Thank you.

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