Xu Lin, director of China’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, talked about the international spread of the Chinese language in an interview with Xinhua’s publication Outlook Weekly magazine. Xu said that the international spread of the Chinese language was a national strategy. To accomplish such a great venture, it must be done through the combined efforts of various departments of the government as well as the whole society. Xu emphasizes that the most pressing issue is to improve the ability for the Chinese language to spread [beyond the country]. China’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language was established in 1987. It is made up of officials from 11 departments of the State Council. Its mission is to coordinate various ministries, treat the international spread of Chinese as a national issue, and spread it in a quiet manner. The headquarters of the Confucius Institutes established later is another face of the same office.
Source: Sohu, May 5, 2008