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China beckons for top Kiwi students

XINHUA | Updated: 2020-08-05 07:43

WELLINGTON-The New Zealand final of the 13th "Chinese Bridge" Speech Contest for World Secondary School Students ended recently at the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington.

Three Confucius Institutes in New Zealand selected 35 contestants from 25 local schools to participate in the competition, and the top four in the high school group are set to represent New Zealand in the finals of the "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Speech Contest for World Middle School Students in China.

The country decided to run the competition in an online format divided into two parts: speech and talent.

Contestants submitted videos of their talent performance in advance and the winners were announced during the competition.

Adele Bryant, director of the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington, says: "It has been exciting to see how students and teachers have responded to the new online format, and we think that this could make it easier for more students to participate in the future."

Rhea Homroy, a contestant from the junior high school group, says:"New Zealand and China have always had a very good political and economic relationship. Learning Chinese will open a door to a different world. Learning Chinese will help people to understand each other. This can make the bridge between us stronger and make our future better."

Tony Browne, chairman of the Confucius Institute at the university, in his opening remarks to students said there are over 6,000 secondary school students studying Chinese in New Zealand, and only 18 have made it to take part in this senior competition.

"I hope, this will be the beginning of an involvement with Chinese that will take you in directions you don't yet know," Browne says."For me, I started my Chinese studies 47 years ago. It has been part of my life ever since. You don't know what direction your career will take you, but I hope China will be part of it."

The competition which is run internationally by the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation was hosted by the Confucius Institute at Victoria University of Wellington this year.


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