Law student Natasha Chan, the winner of the 18th Chinese Bridge Competition with the wife of the Chinese Ambassador, Mrs. Lu Qi.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Confucius Institute held a successful 18th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition at the Laucala Campus on 6 May 2019.
With 10 student participants from USP, the theme of this year's competition is "One World, One Family".
The competition, which was won by Natasha Chan, 18, a student majoring in Law, featured speeches and a talent show. In second place was Tania Wickham, 23, also a Law student.
On behalf of Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Law & Education (FALE), Professor Sudesh Mishra, Head of School of Language, Arts and Media (SLAM) acknowledged guests and extended a special welcome to the Chief Guest, the wife of the Chinese Ambassador, Mrs. Lu Qi.
Professor Mishra commented that the Chinese Proficiency Competition is truly a global event for students learning to speak Chinese.
Local winners of the competition he said, are given the opportunity to go to China to compete with winners from other countries, regions, and the finals are televised nationally.
Participants of the 18th Chinese Bridge Competition pose with their spoils at the Laucala Campus.
“I was especially delighted by the infectious collegiality shown by the current cohort of students attached to the Confucius Institute.
“They clearly grasped that genuine learning is not sequestered from horseplay, fun and collaboration. They competed and celebrated with each other—that was wonderful to witness. The effort put into organising the event by the CI-USP team was exemplary. So all kudos to the teachers and the students,” he noted.
Ms Lu expressed her appreciation at the fact that there were more participants this year compared to previous years.
She stated that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Fiji in 1975, China has always pursued a peaceful foreign policy, good-neighborly friendship, and peaceful coexistence.
“China and Fiji have continuously strengthened exchanges and cooperation in politics, economy and culture. Our two countries are working together to explore strategies and plans for common development in the areas of agriculture, medical care, fishery and education,” she commented.
She remarked that since the “Belt and Road” Initiative in 2013, China has signed 173 cooperation agreements with 125 countries and 29 international organisations by the end of March 2019, including Fiji.
“USP is the top notch university in the South Pacific, which trains a lot of elites as well as regional leaders. In 2012, USP established the Confucius Institute with Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and began offering Chinese language courses to its 14 campus in 12 island countries.
She hoped that the students of USP could seize this opportunity and learn Chinese, become the bridge for culture exchange between China and Fiji, connect themselves with the continuously developing China, with the oriental civilisation and the whole world, and achieve their self-worth.
Learning Chinese she said, is not an easy task.
“In this case, Chinese Embassy will work together with the USP and the Confucius Institute, to provide more support and assistance such as the Chinese government scholarship and Hanban scholarship to the students in Fiji. I wish that you will work hard, become the messenger between China and Fiji, and realise your own dream,” she added.
Hosted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for College Students, known as the “Olympics in Chinese language”, is the largest Chinese language competition in the world in terms of scale and influence.
With the support of China Embassy, CI-USP has been organising “Chinese Bridge” regional Finals Competitions in Fiji, and sent more than 12 winners to China to participate the final competition. All first prize winners have received scholarships and studied in China.
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