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11 Oct, 2015

China to open 10,000 Confucius Schools nationwide

JINAN, (Xinhua) 2015-10-10 – The Confucius Foundation of China (CFC) plans to open 10,000 Confucius Schools across China to promote Confucius teachings, the CFC secretary-general Wang Daqian said on Saturday at a Confucianism forum.

At the fourth Cross-Strait Academic Forum on Confucianism held in Jinan, capital city of East China’s Shandong province, Wang said over 100 such schools have been established, and that the eventual goal was 10,000 nationwide.

Confucius, who was born in Shandong, was a renowned philosopher, politician and educator in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. His system of beliefs, involving philosophy, politics and ethics (subsequently known as Confucianism), has exerted profound influence on Chinese culture.

The CFC, a government-sponsored cultural institute set up in 1984, began the Confucius School project in 2014.

The first Confucius School opened in Jinan last January. Since then, schools have opened in villages, schools and government institutions in Shandong.

Last year, President Xi Jinping attended an international conference commemorating Confucius’ birth. Xi has voiced his respect for Confucius and has emphasized the role of traditions in the country’s cultural soft power on multiple occasions.

For thousands of years, Confucius has been regarded as a symbol of China’s traditional culture, as well as the country’s intellectuals. He was venerated as a great sage in ancient China, but despised as a regressive pedant during the decade-long Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

After the reform and opening up policy in the late 1970s, respect for traditional Chinese culture was restored.

China has opened Confucius Institutes abroad to promote Chinese culture.