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Key Chinese university to add language majors amid boosting ties

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-29 15:50
BEIJING - A top Chinese language university will add 11 language courses, mostly African and Oceanianic tongues, to boost talent support for the country's extending ties with the regions, school official said Wednesday.

Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) will offer Kurdish, Maori, Tongan, Samoan, Comorian, Tswana, Ndebele, Creole, Shona, Tigrinya and Byelorussian courses to undergraduates from September.

The languages are used in west Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean, Africa, and eastern Europe, regions sharing closer ties with China under the Belt and Road, an initiative to bring investment, infrastructure and interconnectivity to the ancient trade routes.

On Monday, New Zealand, where Maori is an official language, signed a memorandum of understanding with China on the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Chinese proficient in local languages and cultures are lacking in some participating countries of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Guo Wei, an official in the publicity department of BFSU. "The university is helping to equip more students with language skills and knowledge of the regional affairs to meet the demand."

The university will set up more language majors, especially those used by countries along the Belt and Road, Guo said.

BFSU now has 84 language majors and plans to increase it to more than 100 in 2020, covering all countries that have diplomatic relations with China.
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