Confucius Institute in Sofia Receives the Honorary Prize “Excellent Institute for 2017” at the 12th Congress of the Confucius Institutes in Xian

On December 12th and 13th 2017, the 12th Confucius Institute Conference was held at the International Convention Center of Xian, the capital of  Shaanxi province. This year’s main topic of the Conference was:  “Deepen Cooperation, Developing through Innovation, Working Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind”. The Congress was attended by about 2500 people – rectors of universities and directors of Confucius institutes from 140 countries and regions.

Welcoming speech at the official opening of the Conference was delivered by the Vice Premier of the State Council of the PRC and Chairman of the Confucius Institutes` Board of Directors – Ms. Liu Yandong. She stressed that the Confucius institutes have been continuously developing their role in deepening cultural and civilization co-operation among the peoples of the world as part of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative promoted by President Xi Jinping a few years ago, and are a powerful mediator for building a community of shared future for mankind.
Delegates discussed the results of their work and shared views on the development of Confucius institutes during the Rectors’ Forums and the Confucius Institute Directors’ Forums.
The Bulgarian delegation was headed by the Deputy Director of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” Assoc. Prof. Georgi Valchev. The Bulgarian delegation also included the  Honorary Director of  the Confucius Institute in Sofia and member of its Management Board Prof. Alexander Fedotoff, as well as the two directors of the Confucius Institute in Sofia – Prof. Ge Zhijiang and Mrs. Aksinia Koleva.
At present, 525 Confucius institutes and 1113 Confucius classrooms have been built in 146 countries. Among them, there are 53 countries, situated on the route of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, in which there are 140 Confucius institutes and 136 Confucius classrooms. Recognizing its role in the process of Bulgaria’s integration into the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative and the “16 + 1” Platform, in 2017 the Confucius Institute – Sofia has made an exceptional effort to create new forms of expanding the teaching of Chinese language and culture among the Bulgarian people. In the span of one year, 10488 Chinese language classes were conducted with more than 2,625 students; 78 cultural events were attended by 25,000 people. 
The headquarters of the Confucius Institute in Beijing (Hanban) highly appreciated the work of the Confucius Institute in Sofia and honored it with the Honorary Prize “Excellent Institute for 2017”. Ms. Liu Yandong personally presented the award to the head of the Bulgarian delegation, Assoc. Prof. Georgi Valchev. The top prize was also given to 24 Confucius institutes throughout the world.

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