Consul-General Zhou Limin’s Remarks at the 21st Chinese Bridge – Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students (NSW Preliminary)
20 June 2022
Judges and Contestants,
Teachers and students,
Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends,
It is my great pleasure to join you at the 21st Chinese Bridge – Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in New South Wales.
Just now, our young friends gave a wonderful performance in the talent show and the speech session. I could see how hard you’ve been working for this competition, and I truly felt your love for learning Chinese language and Chinese culture. Congratulations!
In the past 21 years, the “Chinese Bridge” has become an important platform for young people from all over the world to learn Chinese and understand China. Now it is also a well-known brand event for international cultural exchanges.
This could not have been possible without the support and participation of all of you present today. Let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the teachers, who have long been teaching Chinese language and promoting Chinese culture. My thanks also go to our New South Wales friends for your continuous support for the “Chinese Bridge” competition.
Today, we meet online for the “Chinese Bridge” Competition, dream of a beautiful vision of “One World, One Family”, and illustrate the potential for building a community with shared future for mankind.
Firstly, we explore Chinese values together. Peace and benevolence are traditional values that are deeply rooted in the heart of the Chinese people.
As an important carrier of the Chinese culture, the Chinese language embodies and conveys the concepts of harmonious coexistence and shared future. The philosophy is reflected in the world view of “achieving universal peace” and “the world is one family”, the value of “paramount importance of peace” and “seeking harmony without uniformity”, and the nature concept of “unity of man and nature” and “follow nature’s course”.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out, “Mankind has become a close-knit community of shared future. Countries have extensive converging interests and are mutually dependent.”
The concept of “a community with a share future for mankind” contains the essence of China’s fine traditional culture and fits with the common aspiration of people around the world for peace and development.
I’m happy to see that more and more people in New South Wales are learning Chinese. Chinese courses are offered in schools from primary, secondary to tertiary levels. Chinese has become one of the most popular languages studied for the Higher School Certificate. Some of you may have taken Chinese courses when you sat the HSC.
For Australian young people, the Chinese language is a “golden key” to understanding the wonderful Chinese culture. I hope that through learning Chinese, you will improve your understanding of China and Chinese culture, and appreciate the concepts of peace, harmony, openness and inclusiveness.
Secondly, we build a bridge of friendship together. Language is a tool for communication and exchanges. It helps us understand differences, expand common ground, and build the foundation for equality and mutual respect.
The world today is still not free from cultural barriers and walls of bigotry. Exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations are more important than ever before.
In more than 120 countries, the “Chinese Bridge” competition has attracted millions of young people to participate. It provides an important platform, for young people from different backgrounds in China and around the world, to exchange ideas, and enhance understanding and friendship.
Over the past 50 years since the establishment of China-Australia diplomatic relations, educational and cultural exchanges have played an important role in promoting bilateral relations and enhancing the friendship between the two peoples.
Among Australian states and territories, NSW has established the longest and the closest people-to-people ties with China.
Chinese students account for over one third of total international enrollments in New South Wales. In 2021, more Chinese students study in NSW than in any other states and territories.
The Chinese language and culture are popular in New South Wales. And a large number of Chinese students have chosen New South Wales as their leading destination. All these reflect the close bond between the Chinese and Australian people.
It is my hope that young students from China and Australia can learn each other’s languages, overcome language barriers, and strive to become bridges of communication and ambassadors of friendship between our two peoples.
Thirdly, we join hands for a bright future. Mankind has the same planet to call home and the same future to embrace. We need to work together to address global challenges such as security, development, environment and etc. The global spread of COVID-19 reminds us once again of the theme of “One world, one family.”
In times of difficulty and uncertainty, we must rise to challenges and build a bright future through cooperation.
Global cooperation requires cross-cultural knowledge and communication skills. It calls for a young generation with a global vision, and a global mindset.
By the end of 2021, over 180 countries and regions have launched Chinese language education and 76 countries have included such programs into their national curriculum. The number of people learning Chinese overseas has exceeded 25 million.
About 400 million people in China study English, and many Chinese students are learning English starting in primary schools all the way through to high schools and beyond.
China is ready to work with other countries to strengthen people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation, including language learning, with a view to building a community with a shared future for mankind and achieving common prosperity.
As you work on your language skills, I expect, you will think about the major issues that concern the shared future of mankind. I encourage you to continue learning Chinese, enhance equal dialogue with young people from China and other countries, and make your contribution to a brighter future for mankind.
Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends and students,
I’d like to quote from a letter that President Xi Jinping replied to the representatives of foreign participants at Global young Leaders Dialogue (GYLD) in August 2021. “More overseas youths are welcome to China for exchanges, and I hope that young people at home and abroad will enhance mutual understanding, develop friendship and achieve mutual success, thus contributing to the building of a community with a shared future for humanity”.
I hope our young friends in New South Wales will further improve your Chinese proficiency, so that you could become envoys of friendship to promote China-Australia ties, jointly practice the vision of “One World, One Family” and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.