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AQU, Chinese partners celebrate official inauguration of first and only Chinese Confucius Institute in Palestine

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JERUSALEM | Under the patronage of Palestinian Prime Minister HE Mohammad Shtayyeh, Al-Quds University (AQU) celebrated the official inauguration of Palestine’s Confucius Institute (CI), the first and only Chinese language and culture institute in the country.

The grand ceremony, held on AQU’s main campus, was attended by Chinese and Palestinian officials, presidents of AQU and Jiangxi Normal University and their vice presidents, AQU’s academics, staff, as well as representatives of Palestinian NGOs.

In his speech, AQU President Professor Imad Abu Kishek said he is proud that his alma mater is joining the wide network of affiliates of Confucius Institute around the globe, emphasizing that this great accomplishment helps promote AQU’s internationalization and enhances bilateral cultural exchanges and deep historical ties between the peoples of both Palestine and China.

Abu Kishek praised Confucius Institute at Al-Quds University (CIAQU) for its relentless efforts to offer a range of scientific and cultural programs, and organize a multitude of diverse extracurricular activities that are relevant to Chinese language and culture, through which Ancient and Modern China is broadly introduced to the Palestinians to increase their literacy about a major player in world politics and economy. He noted that CIAQU also assists in supervising and coordinating academic and scientific exchanges with Chinese higher education institutions and research institutes.

President of China’s Jiangxi Normal University Professor Mei Guoping said that cooperation between the two partner universities would help improve the academic achievement on joint studies.

“The aim of Confucius Institute is to enhance people’s understanding of Chinese language and culture, to promote China’s friendly relations with the world, and to enhance sustainable cultural development in pursuit of a harmonious world,” added Gouping.

Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs echoed Professor Abu Kishek as he indicated that CIAQU would further consolidate the historical bonds between Palestine and China.

“The two nations are already in contact in the economic and political spheres, and China is a big supporter to the Palestinians. Therefore, the newly born CIAQU will be an asset to this deep relationship between China and Palestine,” he explained.

Jerusalem Governor Mr. Adnan Ghaith conveyed the greetings and congratulations of His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas, parsing the big role AQU plays in supporting Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem. He extended the President’s appreciation to the Chinese government and people for their continued support to the legitimate rights of the Palestinians.

Deputy Chief of China’s Mission to Palestine, Ms. Wang Xi, expressed her delight for opening Confucius Institute in Palestine, pledging to provide full support for its programs and activities and to exert every possible effort to bring it to success.

Al-Quds University began offering courses in Chinese language in 2015. A year later, Confucius Institute headquarters in China dispatched the first team of Chinese teachers to teach Chinese language to AQU students. In 2018, Al-Quds University and Confucius Institute signed an agreement to establish the Confucius Institute at the university, in partnership with Jiangxi Normal University in Hunan Province, China.

In addition to offering Chinese language teaching and providing Chinese language resources, Confucius Institute in Palestine is authorized to hold the HSK examination (Chinese Proficiency Test) for Palestinian students who wish to pursue their studies in China, as well as tests for the certification of the Chinese language teachers.

In launching CIAQU, we are at Al-Quds University and in the entire Palestine not only paying tribute to China’s size, strength, and economic dynamism; we are acknowledging above all an old Chinese tradition, the Chinese reverence for knowledge and understanding, and for scholarship itself, the qualities for which Confucius Institute was revered, the qualities expressed in the very motto of this leading Palestinian university.

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