A lady plays guzheng, a 21-or 25-stringed plucked instrument, at the Chinese cultural center in Paris on Feb. 8, 2014. (Xinhua/Chen Xiaowei)
China's Culture Minister Cai Wu announced on Feb.24 that the number of China cultural centers will reach 50 by 2020. Currently, 14 cultural centers are in operation around the world.
China established its first two cultural centers in Mauritius and Benin in 1988. With economic growth and a greater intensity of cultural promotion, China has signed government documents with 26 counties to establish cultural centers singly or mutually.
Anne-Marie Raffarin, wife of former French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin, started to study Chinese at the China Cultural Center in Paris in 2008. She had been amazed by China's enormous transformation during her first visit to China in 2003. "People should learn more about the current China through studying the language." she said. In France, a Chinese major has been created not only in over 100 universities but also in numbers of elementary and secondary schools
"Chinese fever" is already becoming a trend. In Germany, the number of Chinese learners increases by five times and the Chinese programs in the China cultural center in Berlin are very popular. To those whose mother tongue is English, Chinese has become the fourth foreign language after French, Spanish and German in the past 15 years, according to foreign media reports.
Russian people are so interested in Chinese culture that they came to attend the "Happy Spring Festival" activities held by the China Cultural Center in Moscow even though the temperature was minus 20 degrees Celsius.
According to the Development Plan of the Overseas China Cultural Center, there will be China Cultural Centers in all of the world's major countries by the year 2020.
The article is edited and translated from《二○二○年 海外中国文化中心将建50个》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, author: Lu Peifa.