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Remarks by H.E. Sun Baohong, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana at the Celebration of Two Years' Operation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana

(May 18, 2016)

Respected Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana,

Respected Mrs. Mercy Haizel Ashia, Registrar of the University of Ghana,

Respected Dr. Mei Meilian, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute of the University of Ghana,

Respected Dr. Dzahene-Quarshie, Ghanaian Director of the Confucius Institute of the University of Ghana,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Faculty members and Students,

Good morning! It is a great pleasure for me to be here again together with you all to celebrate the two years’ operation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana.

For the past two years, the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana has made remarkable achievements in teaching Chinese language and promoting Chinese culture. Currently, the total number of students in Confucius Institute has already exceeded 2,000, covering from kindergarten children to university students as well as different public groups. The Confucius Institute has not only set up several teaching branches and created a variety of courses, but also played a leading role in organizing several cultural events which were widely welcomed by the Ghanaian people. Last month during the visit of H.E. Mr. Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, he came to the University of Ghana to watch the presentation of teaching results by Chinese section and Confucius Institute. Chairman Yu gave full affirmation to the important contribution made by Confucius Institute in promoting mutual understanding and exchanges between peoples of the two countries.

There are many people to whom I should say thank you. And I would like to take this opportunity to express my special gratitude to Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ernest Aryeetey and other faculty members. You have participated in and witnessed the birth and growth of the Confucius Institute, and have always rendered full support to the development of the Institute.

I would also like to thank Dr. Mei Meilian as well as all the Chinese teachers and volunteers. Due to your hard work, the level of Chinese language teaching in Ghana has constantly improved. Many aspiring young people opened new chapters in their lives through learning Chinese. The essay "Bitter and Sweet Years in West Africa to Teach Chinese " written by Mr. Sun Qipeng, one of the volunteers among you, has been widely spread on the Internet.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Faculty members and Students,

Last year, upon conclusion of his visit to China, I had the opportunity to exchange views with Vice-Chancellor on his experience in China. He said Chinese people's efforts to maintain national culture in the modernization process impressed him deeply. It is true that we don’t regard modernization as Westernization. The Chinese nation has a 5,000-year of incessant history of civilization, and has created a profound Chinese culture. The Chinese nation is inclusive and tolerant to diversity. In the long historical process, the Chinese nation has been seriously learning the outstanding culture of other peoples. Therefore, we can make the past serve the present and foreign things serve China and keep creating brilliant future.

China regards Africa as a colorful pole of human civilization, and one of the five pillars of China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership is mutual learning between Chinese and African civilization. I am very pleased to see that, as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to attain independence, Ghana is also at the forefront of Africa in the protection of national culture. More and more Ghanaian people of insight propose to enhance the national identity and strengthen culture confidence. In this regard, China and Ghana have a broad space for cooperation. Last year, China Fujian Acrobatic Troupe visited Ghana to offer a distinctive Oriental show to Ghanaian people. Earlier this month, Chinese National Youth Football Team visited Ghana and played a wonderful friendly match with Ghana Black Satellites in Cape Coast Stadium aided by China. Tens of thousands of spectators were excited by cheers and laughter. Civilizations have become richer and more colorful with exchanges and mutual learning. I told the players of Chinese Football Team that they should learn from the Ghanaian football culture and regard football as their life and dream, not just a job and rice bowl.

I sincerely hope that China and Ghana will continue to strengthen cultural exchanges and jointly promote cultural prosperity and development. In this context, I wish a full success of celebration of two years’ operation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana, and all the work further progresses in the future!

Thank you all!

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