Teaching Mandarin in São Tomé and Príncipe facilitates economic diplomacy and the relationship with China

The opening of a Confucius Institute in São Tomé and Príncipe and the teaching of Mandarin in the country will stimulate São Tomé’s economic diplomacy and relations between the two countries, said the São Tomé prime minister.

Jorge Bom Jesus spoke on Wednesday at the São Tomé and Príncipe Congress Hall, at the official inauguration of the Confucius Institute in the São Tomé capital, which is set up at the country’s public university.

At a time when the economy is heavily related to scientific and technological knowledge, “investment in education is an imperative for citizenship and survival,” said the head of the São Tomé government told some 500 guests at the ceremony, including deans of the universities of São Tomé and Príncipe and Hubei, Chinese ambassador Wang Wei and high political and legal officials from São Tomé.

Jorge Bom Jesus stressed the importance of teaching Mandarin in São Tomé and Príncipe for economic diplomacy and also for access to the labour market, opening “the doors to the reality of China’s ancient culture.”

The ceremony was followed by a Chinese singing, dancing and music show, including some songs by dozens of Mandarin students at the Confucius Institute.

With teachers sent by Hubei University, the Institute has offered Chinese language courses since April, using materials approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education and will open up new vacancies in September. (Macauhub)