Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition (Indian Region)
2018/04/17

Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at the 17th Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition (Indian Region)

(Shangri-la’s Eros Hotel, 16 April 2018)

Dear Competitors and Judges,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste!

It is my great pleasure to participate in the award ceremony of today’s competition.

I would like to congratulate you all on entering the test of the Indian Region after fierce competition. I wish you great marks and good luck in the final competition to be held in China.

The Chinese Bridge Competition is organized by the Headquarters of Confucius Institute (Hanban). This is its 17th edition. It has become an important platform and well-known brand for foreign university students to learn Chinese.

I always believe that language is the basic bridge for communication. It is also the best key to unlock a country.

In history, China and India enjoyed in-depth civilization interaction along the ancient Silk Road. Unlike any other countries, the length and frequency of such exchanges between China and India are rare in human history. Xuan Zang, a Buddhist master in Tang Dynasty, is one of the earliest master of Sanskrit. He translated 77 Buddhist sutras into Chinese. I think Bodhidarma must speak very fluent Chinese. He is a prominent Indian who founded the Zen Buddhism in China. It is through the language that Chinese and Indian cultures converge and impact on each other.

Today, China and India are both in the process of reform and opening-up. Against the backdrop of globalization and economic integration, China and India, the second and seventh largest economy in the world, are promoting comprehensive cooperation and exchanges. China is India’s largest trading partner. There are over 1 million people travelling between the two countries annually and 42 flights weekly. Over 20,000 Indian students are studying in China. More than 800 Chinese companies are doing business in India. There is a great need for language learning.

Before I joined the Foreign Service, I was doing academic research on India. Unfortunately I did not learn Sanskrit or Hindi. Some of my colleagues present here today, like Counselor Zhang Jianxin of the Culture and Education Section, could speak fluent Hindi. I envy him very much. There are also many Indian scholars with us today who could speak beautiful Chinese.

Today we are delighted to have with us Prof. Chandra, a world prominent scholar. He is well known in the study of Buddhism and Indian Arts, as well as ancient languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Old Persian and Old Javanese. He has published over 360 books. He is truly a great master.

I have visited many pradeshes and universities recently. Enhancing educational cooperation was always among the topic of priority. Many university Chancellors asked me to send more Chinese teacher to India. I was touched by their sincerity in learning Chinese. It shows the great potential and bright future of Chinese learning in India.

I know that choosing to learn a foreign language is not only related to the development of bilateral relations but also to the strength of the nation this language represents. Today the cooperation between China and India become ever closer and the future of bilateral relations ever brighter. I am fully confident that learning Chinese is your right choice.

Friends,

This is the first time for Chinese Embassy to directly organize the competition. I would like to thank Jawaharlal Nehru University, Mumbai University, Vellore Institute of Technology and Visva-Bharati University for organizing the sub-regional competitions and participating in the final today. Without your efforts, today’s event would be impossible. I would also like to thank my colleagues from the Culture and Education Section as well as the Chinese Hanban for what they have done to make the event a great success.

Thank you all.

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