North Campus, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, March 7th 2019: The signing ceremony of co-constructing Confucius Institutes between GDUFS, the University of Porto, and the seminar of Sino-Portuguese cultural exchange was held in the International Meeting Hall of the North Campus. Hanban; the Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Guangdong Province; the Department of Education of Guangdong Province; and principals, as well as teachers and students of the two universities, attended the meeting.
Attendees for the signing ceremony and seminar of exchange were: António de Sousa Pereira, President of the University of Porto; João Veloso, Vice President and Principal of Confucius Institutes; SUI Guangjun, Chairman of the University Board; OUYANG Jiangxuan, Vice Counsel of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province; ZHOU Guoping, Vice Director of the Exchange and Cooperation Division of the Department of Education of Guangdong Province; YIN Dongmin, Project Officer of the Division of Development and Planning Confucius Institute Headquarters/ Hanba; WEI Jing, Project Officer of the Division of European Confucius Institutes; and principals of other faculties of GDUFS. The signing ceremony was host by JIAO Fangtai, Vice President of GDUFS.
The two sides had a cordial meeting
Before the meeting, SUI Guangjun and JIAO Fangtai greeted the delegation of the University of Porto; the Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Guangdong Province; and representatives of the Department of Education of Guangdong Province. They pointed out that Confucius Institutes play a vital role in culture exchange as a bridge between China and foreign countries for cooperation and communication. GDUFS upholds the concept of international education, focuses on demonstrating international features, and attaches great importance to the construction and development of overseas Confucius Institutes. With the great support of China and Portugal, as well as the sincere efforts towards collaboration between GDUFS and University of Porto, it’s firmly believed that Confucius Institutes will thrive better.
The signing ceremony went well
At the signing ceremony, SUI Guangjun mentioned in his speech that GDUFS has set up six Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms since 2006 and is regarded as the university set up the most independent Confucius Institutes or classrooms overseas in Guangdong Province. During President XI Jinping’s state visit to Portugal on December, 2018, XI and Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement in constructing Confucius Institutes jointly between Hanban and the University of Porto. Hanban gave this mission on GDUFS and it is GDUFS’s first Confucius Institute in the European Region. To GDUFS, it is not only an honor but also a responsibility. António de Sousa Pereira introduced the University of Porto and applauded students who major in Portuguese for their great progress. He said that GDUFS has abundant experience in setting up education programs. The University of Porto will provide support for establishing Confucius Institutes, improving the level of their construction and he sincerely hoped that there will be more communication and cooperation. YIN Dongmin mentioned that the construction of Confucius Institutes was not easy and hopefully it can live up to the great expectations of both sides. Confucius Institutes adhere to the principles of mutual respect, friendly negotiations, and mutual benefits. Hanban has paid extensive attention to this and will respect the educational principles of the two universities, actively supporting the construction of Confucius Institutes and improving their development.
Experts addressed the seminar.
At the Confucius Institutes and Sino-Portuguese Cultural Exchange Seminar, scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; the University of Porto; Hanban; and GDUFS respectively made their speeches. HUANG Qinghua, Researcher of the Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that China and Portugal share a long history of trading and cultural interactions. Both of them are at their own crucial stage of development. China is deepening reform and opening-up in an all-round way and is going to expand the depth and the width of cooperation, creating a bright future for Sino-Portuguese ties. João Veloso, Vice President of the University of Porto, said that the construction of Confucius Institutes contributes to improving the regular teaching of Chinese. Confucius Institutes can help spread Chinese language and culture in Porto as well as strengthen the academic bonds between Chinese universities and the University of Porto. YI Xingjian, Professor and Dean of School of Finance of GDUFS, pointed out the need to create a new epitome of Sino-Portuguese economic cooperation answering to the Belt and Road Initiative, seize the opportunity to construct the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and develop the platform and synergistic effect of Macao and the Hengqin Free Trade Pilot Zone in Zhuhai. WEI Jing, Officer of Hanba, reviewed roundly on the construction process of the Confucius Institutes in Portugal. The Confucius Institute of Porto, the fifth Confucius Institute in Portugal, has great significance for enhancing communication between China and Portugal as well as strengthening the bonds between the two countries’ people. YAN Shaohua, Researcher of the Guangdong Research Institute for International Studies, talked about the significance of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to Portugal and that it was a perfect chance to cooperate with University of Porto. DING Hao, Vice Professor of the School of Business made a speech on how the cooperation between Guangdong and Macao will improve Sino-Portuguese cultural exchanges. SHANG Xuejiao, Teacher of the Faculty of European Languages and Cultures, discussed the distributions of classes and the features of development of Confucius Institutes in Portugal.
The group photo
The construction of Confucius Institutes is one of the important strategies for the international development of GDUFS. It plays a crucial part in building an all-wave framework of educational international cooperation and communication of GDUFS, strengthens the cultural communication between China and foreign countries,and is also an important responsibility and mission for GDUFS.