The First Confucius Institute Established in Norway

On August 29th 2007, the signing ceremony for Norwegian Bergen Confucius Institute was held in the Hall of Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 200 people participated in the ceremony. They included the Governor and Speaker of Hordaland County, the Mayor and parliamentary members of Bergen, as well as other Norwegian celebrities and friends. All the participants witnessed the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in Norway.

Chinese Ambassador to Norway Madam Gao Jian signed the contract on behalf of Hanban (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) with Bergen University College and Bergen China Foundation. Ambassador Gao made a key-note speech at the signing ceremony. She pointed out the importance and significance of the founding of Confucius Institute, stressing it is a milestone in the educational cooperation and exchanges between China and Norway. Ambassador Gao stated that Chinese civilization is the creation of all its 56 ethnic groups and is also part of the world civilization. Confucius Institute could serve as a window from which the Norwegian people would be able to see many aspects of China, and it would also be a platform on which we not only can facilitate educational exchanges between us, but also promote our bilateral relations in other areas.

On behalf of the Norwegian side, Mayor of Bergen City Mr. Friele extended warm congratulations to the establishment of the Institute. He said that this is a major event in the educational cooperation between Norway and China, which will play a very active role in promoting the mutual understandings between the two countries and two peoples.

On behalf of Hanban and the Chinese Embassy in Norway, Ambassador Gao also donated some books to the Bergen Confucius Institute.

The Bergen Confucius Institute is a non-profit institution. It is to be run by Bergen University College and Beijing Sport University jointly. The Institute would be operated through Bergen China Foundation which is formed by the people from business, academic, educational and cultural circles. Apart from the Chinese language training and sport exchanges, the Institute would also facilitate the cooperation between China and Norway in other fields as well.

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