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Chinese learning flourishes in Scotland | Updated: 2012-11-13 14:51

It used to be the place where the G8 summit was held in July 2005, and on Monday another event, dubbed G50, was staged at the same venue.

But this time the participants are 50 high school students from across Scotland who were exchanging their joys and hardships in learning the Chinese language.

"The most important thing is, learning Chinese language can widen my horizons," said Euan Holmes, a six-grade student at Perth High School, also a participant at the Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) Youth Summit in the Gleneagles Hotel.

Like Holmes, the participants shared their experiences of learning Chinese, the difficulty to learn the Chinese characters at first, and the joy of communicating with others in Chinese.

In the presence of about 300 honored guests and audience, the students talked about their trips to China, sang songs both in Chinese and English and showed off their paper-cutting skills learned in China.

John Bissett, Learning Directorate Curriculum Unit, said that the importance to learn Chinese language and know more about China is growing, and that the Scottish government is planning to introduce Chinese language as a curriculum in more and more Scottish schools.

Li Ruiyou, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, expressed his delight to see the exchanges of young generations, stressing the importance of people-to-people exchanges to promote mutual understanding.

Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, former Governor of Hong Kong, reiterated the importance of learning Chinese language and shared his experience of recognizing the Chinese characters during his stay in China.

Convener of Scotland China Education Network, Judith McClure, who is the organizer of the event, underlined that as a part of "Scotland in Conversation with China" programs, Monday's activity aims to bring together young people to experience its international context, to promote the importance of learning about China and learning Chinese, and to link Scottish and Chinese education, culture and business.

Since late October, a series of programs have brought Chinese professors and scholars to six cities and towns in Scotland to deliver speeches about Chinese perspectives on the EU and implications for policy, cross-cultural Business in Practice, entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurship practice in China among others.

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