As China continues to play a key role in the world economy, the need to understand and adapt to Chinese business practices and culture is vital. In response to the sharp increase in the world’s demand for Chinese learning, the PRC government has established Confucius Institutes around the world in order to promote the country’s language, culture and intercultural exchange.
The first Confucius Institute was established in 2004 in Seoul, South Korea. According to the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Hanban, in September 2015 there were 495 institutes and 1000 smaller classrooms – affiliated to primary and secondary schools – in more than 130 counties. The latest available figures for Australia show there are 14 Confucius Institutes and 5 Confucius classrooms.
Countries are announcing plans to increase these numbers. Last week in Belarus, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Nikolai Snopkov proclaimed: “The Belarusian side is ready to further expand the network of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms at the regional level to promote understanding and knowledge of China in the regions.” Read full text here.
Not only does this education facilitate peace and reconciliation between countries, one can adapt these shared ideas and values to strengthen business relationships in China.