Xinhua published an article on September 21 in which it reported on the status of the promotion of the Mandarin language. According to the article the Ministry of Education, the State Language Affairs Commission, and the Hebei provincial government jointly hosted Speak Mandarin Week in Luanping County of Hebei Province. According to the State Language Affairs Commission, Mandarin language promotion began 17 years ago, but there are still 400 million people, amounting to 30 percent of the population, who are not able to communicate in Mandarin. The language experts who participated in the event said that promoting Mandarin was not meant to eliminate local dialects but rather to promote more social exchange by breaking through dialect barriers.
Source: Xinhua, September 21, 2014