On July 8, 2019 local time, the opening ceremony of the Confucius Institute jointly established by Central South University and University of Orleans and relevant activities were held in the over-300-year-old Hôtel Dupanloup - the International Research Center of University of Orleans.
In the morning, Tian Hongqi, the president of Central South University and Bruand, the president of University of Orleans, signed the implementation agreement for co-building the Confucius Institute and the student exchange agreement, visited the office space and facilities of Confucius Institute located in theHôtel Dupanloup, and looked around theHôtel Dupanloup. The two sides also held an academic seminar with the theme of Sino-French exchange.
In the noon, the University of Orleans held a reception for over one hundred guests from theCentral South University,and the two universities discussed the future construction and development of the Confucius Institute.
In the afternoon, the opening ceremony of Confucius Institute was held officially. Yu Jinsong, Chargéd’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in France, Yang Jin, Education Minister Counsellor, Francois Bonneau, President of the Centre-Val de LoireRegional Council, Martine Grivot, Vice Mayor of Orleans and over one hundred guests from China and French attended the ceremony; Bai Yi, Chief of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Central South University, read the congratulatory letter from Ma Jianfei, Deputy Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters.
Yu Jinsong indicated that the establishment of Confucius Institute aims to popularize Chinese language and culture in the world and promote Sino-foreign cultural exchanges and friendship. At present, enhancing communication between civilizations and eliminating estrangement and prejudice between people are especially important. As the representatives of eastern and western civilizations respectively, China and France have major responsibilities for boosting dialogues among civilizations and building a community with a shared future for mankind. This year is the 55thanniversary of diplomatic relation establishment between China and France, there is a strong momentum of cultural exchange and cooperation between both countries; the establishment of Confucius Institute, University of Orleans will open a new window for Sino-France friendship and provide more reserve talents for lasting and in-depth development of the relationship between China and France.
Bonneau showed his gratitude to the efforts made by both universities to actively prepare the founding of Confucius Institute and expressed his congratulations to the establishment. He said, the Confucius Institute, University of Orleans will open a new window for more scholars, teachers and students to understand Chinese culture and language, further improve the Chinese teaching level in the Centre-Val de Loireand make contribution to the cooperation and exchange in Sino-France culture and education.
Tian Hongqi indicated that Hunan Province in China and Centre-Val de Loire in France are sister provinces, Central South University and University of Orleans are partner institutions, and there have been deep affection and friendly communication between the two provinces and universities. Confucius Institute, University of Orleans is another warm current of cultural integration in the river of friendship between Centre-Val de Loire and Hunan Province, and is bound to be the platform and model of cultural exchange and cooperation between both universities, both provinces and both countries. Stanislas Julien, the French sinologist born in Orleans translated many classics of Confucianism such asMenciusandThree CharacterClassic,disseminated Chinese culture to France, advocated kindheartedness, integrity, etiquette, filial piety and fraternal duty in France and made the Confucian culture widely recognized by French. Establishing Confucius Institute in University of Orleans not only has profound historic foundation, but also accelerates substantial cooperation and exchange in the aspects of discipline construction, talent cultivation, academic research, teachers exchange and resource sharing between both universities, and promotes their international school-running level and influence. Central South University, on the ground of this opportunity, will strive to build Confucius Institute, University of Orleans into a platform for Chinese learning and cultural blending, and make positive contribution in promoting Sino-France cultural exchange and cooperation and enhancing understanding and friendship between the people of two countries.