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H.E. Ambassador Wang Ke's Remarks on the Occasion of the Ground Breaking Ceremony For the Construction of the Confucius Institute at the UWI Cave Hill Campus
(July 11th, 2014)

Hon. Ronald Jones, Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation,

Hon. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,

Sir Hilary Beckles, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning!

Today I am really glad to be here, at UWI Cave Hill Campus, to attend this ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the Confucius Institute. In June 2013, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart agreed on establishing a Confucius Institute at Cave Hill Campus at their historic meeting in Trinidad. In a year since then, with the support of the two governments and the efforts made by Cave Hill Campus, Confucius Institute Headquarters of China and China University of Political Science and Law, the preparations of the Confucius Institute have continually made progress. I hereby on behalf of the Chinese side would like to express sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Barbados, UWI Cave Hill Campus, with Principle Sir Hilary and Director of External Relations Dr. Fisher in particular, and all the other organizations and friends that contributed to this project.

In recent years, the China-Barbados relationship has kept healthy development and made fruitful achievements in cultural and people to people exchanges, particularly in the area of educational cooperation. In order to fulfill Barbadian friends’ desire to study Chinese and facilitate the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, the Chinese Government doubled the scholarships to Barbadian students, established Chinese Language Course at UWI Cave Hill Campus, and the China University of Political Science and Law formed partnership with Cave Hill Campus. All of these measures not only added new contents to the bilateral friendly cooperation, but also played an important role in promoting the communication, understanding and friendship between the two peoples, especially the youths. And the establishment of the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill Campus is another important step in this regard, and will surely become a milestone of the bilateral educational cooperation between our two countries.

Named after Confucius who was one of the greatest philosopher and educator of ancient China, the Confucius Institute shows distinct Chinese characteristic. As of the end of 2013, 440 Confucius Institutes were established in 115 countries and regions worldwide, and they have become brand projects for enhancing cultural exchanges between China and the world as well as inheriting the friendship between the peoples of China and the rest of the world. The University of West Indies is an important institute in the Caribbean for tertiary education, and many outstanding professors and students from Barbados and this region are gathering in this Cave Hill Campus. I truly hope that by the collaborations between China and Barbados, the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill Campus, the 4th of its kind in the countries of the Caribbean, will be built into a new platform for the enhancement of China-Barbados and China-Caribbean cultural exchanges, and benefit as many as students of the Campus and other Barbadian people in learning Chinese language, understanding Chinese culture and making Chinese friends.

In closing, I wish all the success to the construction of the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill Campus and look forward to being here again with all of you in the near future to witness the opening of the Institute.

Thank you!

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