Ten Students Honored at the Confucius Institute U.S. Center’s National Honor Gala, While Ameson Foundation Was Also Praised for Promoting Cultural Exchanges between China and the United States
On the evening of September 24th, the Confucius Institute U.S. Center held its first National Gala in the Ronald Reagan Building, in Washington, DC. Over 200 people attended the awards celebration, including First Secretary Sun Feng from the Education Department of the Chinese Embassy. At the gala, ten outstanding students from the University of Kentucky, the University of Delaware, the University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, George Mason University, the Confucius Institute at the University of South Texas, and the Confucius Institute in Chicago received awards. These winners, aged from 12 to 60 years old, were recognized for their exceptional abilities in learning Chinese language and engaging with Chinese culture.
presenting the winning students.
During his keynote speech, C. D. Mote, former president of the University of Maryland and a member of the American Academy of Engineering, pointed out that language is the carrier of culture, and learning language is the best way to promote cultural communication. The exchange of language and culture between the United States and China will help promote mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, he said. Mote asserted that the Confucius Institute has played an indispensable role in this process.
Mote also said that the first Confucius Institute in North America was established at the University of Maryland, while he served as the University president. He said he was very honored to be able to witness the completion of the Confucius Institute at the university. Mote suggested that local Confucius Institutes and their surrounding communities should be well coordinated in order to engage more with the community. He concluded by saying that both the United States and China are great countries, and their cooperation and friendship are mutually beneficial to each other and the world.
Gao Qing, Director of the Confucius Institute U.S. Center in Washington, D.C.
Confucius Institute U.S. Center President Gao Qing said that since the establishment of the Confucius Institute in 2004, the United States today houses more institutes than any other country. In November 2013, the Confucius Institute U.S. Center was established in Washington, D.C. and was inaugurated by Vice Premier of China’s State Council, Liu Yandong. During his speech, Qing expressed his gratitude to organizations that have provided strong support to the Confucius Institute U.S. Center, including the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation. For example, on August 13, an Ameson Year in China program reception attended by over 60 people was held at Confucius Institute US Center, not only sending off young Americans to teach English in China, but also forming collaboration among the Ameson Foundation, the Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University Center, and the Confucius Institute US Center.
Ameson Foundation, Washington, DC Office, executive director Stephen Smith and dressed in cheongsam University of Kentucky Confucius Institute winning student Li Ruiqi (Rachel Lietzow).
Both Stephen Smith, Executive Director, and Zhu Xiao Di, Deputy Director, of the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation attended the gala. They pointed out that the Confucius Institute U.S. Center has made a valuable contribution to cultural exchange between China and the United States. Many people who have learned Chinese at the Confucius Institute fall in love with Chinese culture, and some of these individuals even go to China to live, study and work. Confucius Institute students are encouraged to join the Ameson Foundation’s Ameson Year in China (AYC) program in the future. Learning to speak Chinese and engaging with Chinese culture at the Confucius Institute opens up young people’s minds so that they may decide to participate in a program like AYC, where they can live in China and teach English in Chinese schools for a year after graduating from college. The Ameson Foundation is delighted to have attended the National Gala and appreciates the work the Confucius Institute is doing in promoting US-China relations and cultural understanding.
Pictured is the annual tea ceremony at the Confucius Institute U.S. Center in Washington, D.C.
Confucius Institutes around the world make full use of their resources to carry out a variety of teaching and cultural activities, and have gradually formed their own unique modes of operation, becoming important venues in each country for learning Chinese language and culture, as well as for learning about contemporary China.