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What is a underlying significance of Chinese President's visit to a prep high school in Chicago ?
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 Home > English > What is a underlying significance of Chinese President's visit to a prep high school in Chicago ?
    What is a underlying significance of Chinese President's visit to a prep high school in Chicago ?

On the 21th of January 2011, Chinese president Hu Jintao visited Walter Payton College preparatory(Prep) high school in Chicago during his state visit to the United States. His visit to the school where the first Confucius Institute in the US was established and where it offers an intensive Chinese culture and language program was quite a significant event in the sense that it shows how much importance the top leaders of Chinese government place in the promotion of Chinese culture. During his visit to the school, he invited 20 faculty and students to visit China.

All these activities aim at improving national image and strengthening brand values of Chinese products. As of 2010, there are 322 Confucius institutes in 91countries for high level students, and 369 institutes in 34 countries for elementary school level students. Most of the other advanced countries also have oversee culture centers established even earlier than China and Japan. To name some of them includes the British Council of England, the Goethe Institute of Germany, the Alliance Francois of France, and the American Cultural Center.

Unfortunately, Korea has stood at much lower level compared with the active strategy of these countries. Korea has 16 culture centers in 12 countries including one in Tokyo which is the very first culture center established abroad in 1979. Also, there are 75 Sejong Institutes whose function is primarily to teach Korean language. However, there is currently a very few departments for Korean studies in the US and other regions unlike the more well-established Chinese and Japanese studies department.

The present Korean government allocated 52 million won increased by 2.5 times in comparison with the budget allocation of 2005 for disseminating Korean language world wide. However, as shown in the table below, the status of Korea in this matter remains very poor.

Thus we urge more individuals and NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) to participate in this endeavor for the promotion of Korean language and culture.

No. of Oversee Institutes Compared between China and Korea

<As of 2010>

Confucius instistutes

Confucius classes

Sejong institutes

No. of countries

No. of institutes

No. of countries

No. of institutes

No. of countries

institutes

Authorized institute ?

Africa

16

21

5

5

2

1

1

US

12

103

6

240

5

3

12

Asia

30

81

11

31

9

13

27

Europe

31

105

10

82

7

7

10

Oceania

2

12

2

11

1

1

Total

91

322

34

369

24

24

51

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