Afghanistan to set up Confucius Institute for learning Chinese language, culture

Kabul, January 9, 2007 (Xinhua): China and Afghanistan Wednesday signed here an agreement on establishing a Confucius Institute at Kabul University to promote Chinese language and culture education in the Central Asian country.

The Confucius Institute, a specially-designed organization for meeting people's demand for access to Chinese language and information about China, an emerging economy in East Asia with increasing global influence, has expanded its reach to over 60 countries with around 200 outlets across the world, according to Chinese officials.

The proposed outlet at Kabul University, the first such one in Afghanistan, will be jointly funded by Kabul University, a premier Afghan government-run university, and the Beijing-based Confucius Institute Headquarters, a non-profit education promotion organization.

"It will not only satisfy the growing need of Afghan young people in learning Chinese, but also make contribution to Sino-Afghan social and culture exchanges, and further help to enhance economic cooperation between the two friendly neighbors," said Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Mr. Yang Houlan, while hailing the signing of the agreement.

Dr. Rahman Ashraf, Chancellor of Kabul University, who signed the agreement representing the Afghan side, said his university will offer all possible convenience and cooperation to facilitate the early operation of the Confucius Institute.

Ashraf thanked the Chinese side for the assistance in Afghan education field, saying the fresh move will help to deepen the friendly relations between the two countries.