A Confucius Institute for Business, London, has been launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
The launch was celebrated with the unveiling of a plaque by Chairman Jia Qinglin, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, chairman of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The Chairman also presented a statue of Confucius to the School.
The Confucius Institute for Business, London, aims to promote Chinese for business to the local community and foster greater understanding of business culture in China. This is the sixth Confucius Institute to be established in the UK but the first of its kind.
Nick Byrne, director of the LSE Language Centre, where the institute will be based, explained: 'The initiative with LSE is slightly different to other institutes, in that it has an explicit business focus. In the first instance the focus will be on Chinese language for specific purposes, that is, Chinese for business. The longer term will include promoting educational co-operation between China and the UK.'
LSE has seen a demand for Chinese language classes from students in recent years. This demand is set to increase, particularly with the School's new programmes such the LSE-PekingUniversity double degree in International Affairs and the LSE-Fudan degree in Global Media.
Chairman Jia said the launch of the Institute was a milestone in providing business, language and cultural opportunities for those developing Chinese and UK links.
LSE Director Howard Davies thanked Chairman Jia and other distinguished guests for helping the School to celebrate the launch. He said: 'At LSE there are more than 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students from mainland China and around 300 from the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. We welcome this venture as one of a number of international initiatives we are developing with academics and organisations in China.'
HE Zhai Peixin, China's ambassador to the UK, was a guest of honour at the launch, as was HE Zheng Wantong, Sir Stephen Green of HSBC; Martin Eadon of Deloitte & Touche LLP; Bryan Sanderson of Standard Chartered; Iain Conn of BP and Sir Adrian Swire of John Swires & Sons Ltd.
The Confucius Institute for Business, London, is backed financially by sponsors HSBC, Deloitte and Touche, Standard Chartered Bank, BP, and John Swire and Sons.
Other guests at the launch included Sir Anthony Battishill, governor of LSE; Professor Sarah Worthington, deputy director; Professor HU Dongcheng, vice chairman of the University Council, Tsinghua University, and members of the LSE Students' Union Chinese Development Society.
Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, tel: 020 7955 7582, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zhao Shangsen, Second Secretary, Embassy of the People's Republic of China, tel: 020 7299 4071, email: email@example.com
For more on LSE's links with China, see China
For more about future courses in Chinese for Business, contact the LSE Language Centre, see Language Centre
LSE also runs a Summer School with Peking University, see LSE-PKU Summer School
Confucius Institutes - there are now 80 Confucius Institutes globally in 36 countries. In the UK, the first two Confucius Institutes were established early in 2006 at SOAS and Manchester.
US falls for soft diplomacy (8 Dec 06)
A Confucius Institute for Business was launched last month at the London School of Economics. Scotland's first Confucius Institute was opened at Edinburgh University in March. Others are at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Manchester University.
25 October 2006