The fourth annual Confucius Institute will be held in Beijing December 11 to 13. As a press conference for the event, Xu Lin, the Director of the state agency Hanban, and The Chinese Language Council International under Ministry of Education, commented that the impact on Confucius Institutes and overseas Chinese language promotion is counter-cyclical.
Xu, also the Executive Director of the Headquarters of the Confucius Institute, explained that as China has not been hit hard by the financial crisis, and many foreigners wanted to learn how Chinese deal with the crisis, the demand for Chinese language learning has been increasing.
According to the data provided by Hanban, by the end of 2008, 249 Confucius Institutes have been established in 78 countries. Within the crisis year of 2009, 33 more Confucius Institutes and 10 more countries were added. The theme of this year’s annual conference is “Confucius Institutes and Community Service.”
Source: Huanqiu, December 4, 2009