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Xinjiang universities to offer Farsi, Urdu classes

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-27 16:24

URUMQI -- Two universities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will add Farsi and Urdu to their undergraduate curriculum, according to a government document released Saturday.

Shihezi University and Xinjiang Normal University are setting up Farsi, and Urdu majors, respectively, and start enrolling students nationwide this summer.

Farsi is the official language in Iran and Tajikistan, and a major language in Afghanistan.

Currently only six universities in China offer Farsi as a major, producing less than 500 people proficient in the language, according to a Shihezi University press release.

Xinjiang's increasing cooperation in trade and counter-terrorism with Farsi-speaking countries requires more advanced Farsi language learners, it said.

Urdu is the official language of Pakistan. In 2013, China and Pakistan started to build the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a 3,000-km network of roads, railways and pipelines linking Xinjiang's Kashgar and southwest Pakistan's Gwadar Port.

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