As China’s economy and exchanges with the world have seen rapid growth, there has also been a sharp increase in the world’s demands for Chinese learning. Benefiting from the UK, France, Germany and Spain’s experience in promoting their national languages, China began its own exploration through establishing non-profit public institutions which aim to promote Chinese language and culture in foreign countries in 2004: these were given the name the Confucius Institute.
Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban is committed to providing Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services worldwide, and it goes all out in meeting the demands of foreign Chinese learners and contributing to the development of multiculturalism and the building of a harmonious world. Situated in Beijing, the Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban is a non-profit organization, responsible for the establishment and management of Confucius Institutes worldwide. It provides the guidelines, finances and staff for these Institutes. The Institutes themselves are individually managed under the leadership of their own board of directors which should include members of the host institution as well as members of the partner Chinese University. The Institutes function independently within the guidelines established by Hanban. Each Institute is responsible for drawing up and managing its own budget subject to approval by Hanban as there are various restrictions on how funds may be used.
Over recent years, the Confucius Institutes’ development has been sharp and they have provided scope for people all over the world to learn about Chinese language and culture. In addition they have become a platform for cultural exchanges between China and the world as well as a bridge reinforcing friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the world and are much welcomed across the globe.