Remarks at The Confucius Institute's Ground Breaking Ceremony at the UWI Mona
by H.E. Mr. TIAN Qi, Ambassador of China to Jamaica

Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information,

The Hon. Fayval Williams, Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service,

Professor the Hon. Archibald McDonald, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal UWI, Mona,

Prof. Paulette Ramsay, Head, Modern Languages and Literatures,

Ladies and Gentlemen:


Good morning.

It's my great honour to attend the ceremony with special significance. It's not a simple building, because it's the new teaching building of the Confucius Institute. Now in the world, there are more than 500 Confucius Institutes in more than 140 countries with more than 2 million students. This Institute is not the simple one because it's the first one in the Caribbean, inaugurated by President Xi Jinping in Feb 13, 2009, then in his capacity as Vice President of China during his first visit to the Caribbean.

It's not a simple building, because it locates in the beautiful campus of the UWI Mona which is the cradle of the elites of the society and backbones of national development of Jamaica. With the collaboration of the new Confucius Institute, I'm sure that the UWI Mona will play a greater role in Jamaica and the Caribbean at large to unlock more potential for economic and cultural growth.

It's not a simple building, because it will turn out to be a broad bridge of friendship between the two peoples and cultural, educational exchanges between the two countries.

Now there are more than 100 million people overseas learning Chinese. I hope, with the completion of the building, there will be more Jamaicans learning Chinese language and true essence of Confucianism.

As we all know, Confucius was the first teacher in China. He believed all human beings, rich or poor, are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavour. He devoted himself to making education broadly available and establishing the art of learning and teaching as a way for better life and harmonious society. He believed that all men on earth are human brothers. He advocated the Golden Mean, harmony in diversity, and the harmony of man and nature. He urged the people not to do to others what you don't want done to yourself.

Confucianism is from China but belongs to the world. It's sure to be helpful to transform Jamaica into the place of choice not only to live, work, raise family and do business, but also to learn and teach.

"In the company of three, one always can find a teacher." What a joy it is to have friends coming afar, either from China or Jamaica. Let's learn from each other, cook and share cornmeal porridge, get together, rise together,  and feel all right.

Thank you all.

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