China said Confucius Institutes have played a vital role in promoting Chinese language teaching in India
China's worries arise from reports that India’s education ministry could review the status of Confucius Institutes and “Confucius classrooms”
China on Tuesday expressed hope that New Delhi will treat Confucius Institutes in a fair and objective manner, and avoid the politicizing of such cooperation.
Confucius Institutes are public educational partnerships between colleges and universities in China and colleges and universities in other countries. They have played an important role in promoting Chinese language teaching in India, besides fostering people-to-people and cultural contacts.
“We hope Indian relevant parties can treat Confucius Institutes and China-India higher education cooperation in an objective and fair manner, avoid politicizing normal cooperation, and maintain healthy and stable development of China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges," a statement from the Chinese embassy said.
The comment came against the backdrop of reports that India’s education ministry could review the status of Confucius Institutes and “Confucius classrooms" established by China’s Confucius Institute and seven Indian universities and colleges, besides the many agreements on inter-school cooperation signed between Indian and Chinese higher education institutions over the years.
Reports of the possible review arose against the backdrop of tensions between India and China along their border and apparent Chinese reluctance to vacate Indian territory that it has intruded into.
“With increasingly close economic, trade and cultural exchanges between China and India, the demand for Chinese language teaching in India is growing," Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement.
“All Confucius Institutes were established by the Chinese and Indian universities after signing legally binding cooperation agreement in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, friendly consultation, equality and mutual benefit, and on the premise that the Indian side applied voluntarily and met the conditions for running the Institute," Ji said.
“The school-running mode of Confucius Institutes has always been ‘foreign side mainly managing, Chinese side assisting and both sides raising funds jointly,’" Ji said.
“Over the years, Confucius Institutes have played an important role in promoting Chinese language teaching in India and China-India people-to-people, and cultural exchanges. This has been generally recognized by the Indian education community," she added.
In recent weeks, New Delhi has banned almost 100 Chinese mobile phone apps such as Bytedance’s hugely popular Tik Tok video recording and sharing platform, besides restricting Chinese imports of colour televisions and embargoing Chinese investments in key areas such as roads and telecom. These follow tensions between the two countries on the border that were triggered in May.
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