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CI-USP holds successful 17th Chinese Bridge competition

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His Excellency, Mr Qian Bo, the Chinese Ambassador awards Ilaisa Senimoli, winner of the 17th Chinese Bridge Competition at USP’s Laucala Campus.

The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Confucius Institute (CI) held a successful 17th Chinese Bridge Competition at its main Laucala Campus on 12 May 2018.

Ilaisa Senimoli, 27 and Sofia Adituraga Mucunabitu, 21, will participate in the final competition in Changsha, capital city of China's Hunan province in July this year after scooping the first and second prizes respectively.

The Chinese Bridge is a Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students and is held every year for Foreign College Students who are learning Chinese. The theme of this year's competition is "One World, One Family", illustrating the traditional culture of the Chinese in pursuing friendship and peace.

During the competition, participants individually shared their experiences about learning Chinese language and culture, and performed Chinese songs and dances, which clearly impressed the crowd and the judges.

The event was attended by His Excellency, Mr Qian Bo, the Chinese Ambassador and his wife Lu Qi; Professor Derrick Armstrong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and International; Mrs Dharma Chandra, wife of Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP; Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE), Dr Yang Hui, Chinese director at USP’s Confucius Institute and staff, students and their families.

Dr Kedrayate extended a special welcome to His Excellency, Mr Qian Bo, the Chinese Ambassador, Professor Armstrong and all those who attended.

She stated that over the years USP had been sending some of their students to China and they are extremely proud of their achievements.

“Since CI-USP was established it has grown from strength to strength not only in offering the language which is now available at most of the campuses in the region but in fact, two of the courses are also being offered online which provides accessibility where we cannot set up classrooms,” she said.

In the front row are the participants of the 17th Chinese Bridge Competition at USP’s Laucala Campus.

Dr Kedrayate said, “We hope it will not only be confined to our campuses but opened up to the general public and we are proud of our relationship with China, Ambassador Qian and all of your predecessors”. 

“We are also teaching French, Hindi and Fijian and later on Rotuman and we are also offering Maori in Cook Islands. We are proud to be the University that offers opportunities to learn different languages because we want our students exposed to foreign languages so that they can better their understanding and respect for other cultures. We recognise that language and culture play a very important part in the lives of students and the younger generation,” she added.

Professor Armstrong stated that CI-USP plays a very important role in forging relationships and friendships between Pacific Island Countries and the Chinese people.

“The continuing growth and enrolment in Chinese language programmes is testimony to the strength of our collaboration. The expansion of the Confucius Institute here at Laucala Campus and at our other campuses indicate our close relationship,” he said.

Professor Armstrong also congratulated Dr Yang for her leadership and the success of CI-USP.

Dr Yang said the competition not only meant learning about Chinese language and culture but like its name, it is a bridge to connect two nations and people.

“Through years of development CI has become a bridge for USP and other Universities in China, facilitating the academic communications and cooperation at different levels,” she stated.

She acknowledged the participants saying they represented the best students of CI, adding that some of them had been learning Chinese for several years and their persistence was greatly valued.

“I hope you can be confident and share your understanding of the connotation of “One World, One Family”, showcase your full potential and realise your dreams,” she added.

Ms Lu Qui, wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, stated that language is the bridge for human communication along with cultural exchange enabling individuals to establish profound friendship.

“I believe that with the further development of the relationship between China and Fiji and with the increasing exchange between Fiji and the other countries, more bilingual and multilingual talents are needed.

“I hope that all the students here will work hard to learn Chinese language and culture, to light up your own future, and to make contributions to the friendship between China and Fiji in the spirit of ‘One World, One Family’,” she said.

Eleven participants took part and demonstrated a superb level of knowledge and understanding of the Chinese culture and language.

This news item was published on 15 May 2018 10:47:59 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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