Hon. Joselito Mendoza,Governor of Province of Bulacan,
Hon. Danilo Domingo,Mayor of City of Malolos,
Hon. Dr. Mariano C. De Jesus,President of Bulacan State University,
Dr. Nona S. Ricafort,Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education,
Hon. Ma. Victoria R. Alvarado,Congresswoman, First District of Bulacan,
Prof. Qiao Xueguang,President of Northwest University, China,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman
Good morning! I am honored to be invited to the formal launching of the Bulacan Confucius Institute. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the Bulacan State University for its setting-up of Confucius Institute which is the second one in the Phillipines.
China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors enjoying long history of exchanges. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties over 34 years ago, the bilateral relations have been developing at a rapid and steady pace in the fields of political, economy, technology and culture. China-Philippines relations are not only a model of bilateral exchanges, but also a good example of regional cooperation.
Ever since the first Chinese-teaching school was founded in 1899, the development of Chinese language education has never been stopped. With the further developments of bilateral relations in various areas in the 21st century, to learn Chinese and understand China is not only the desire of local Chinese communities, but also the desire of the local people from all over the Philippines. It was upon this desire that the first Confucius Institute was founded in Ateneo De Manila University in October 3rd 2006.
The Confucius Institute is not only functioning as a language teaching institute, but also a platform on which different cultures could interact and integrate. Currently there are over 30 million people studying Chinese outside China. The Confucius Institutes are goodwill bridges linking China and foreign countries. Through the study of Chinese language and culture, people get a better understanding of China and the friendly relations are therefore further enhanced. The Confucius Institute opens a window to the outside world, inviting and encouraging more and more friends to learn about China. It also shows that China is willing to play a more active role in the process of globalization.
By the end of 2008, 249 Confucius Institues and 56 Confucius Classrooms have been set up in 78 countries and regions. And today, with the greatest pleasure, we welcome the Bulacan State University to join this big family. I firmly believe that with the joint efforts of Bulacan State University and its partner, Northwest University of China, the Confucius Institute will become a place where students could find answers to all kinds of questions about China. They will walk in with enthusiasm and inquiry, walk out with knowledge and confidence, and they will add a new chapter to the one-thousand-year-long history of China-Philippines friendly relations.
Thank you and Mabuhay!