(From L to R) Mitchel B. Wallerstein, president of Baruch College, Jiang Feng, chairman of Shanghai International Studies University Council, Xinwei Sun, Chinese director of Confucius Institute for Global Finance, and Matthew LePere, American Director of Confucius Institute for Global Finance, pose for photos during the launching ceremony of Confucius Institute for Global Finance in Baruch College in New York, the United States, Dec. 6, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Confucius Institute for Global Finance, the first of its kind in the United States, was launched on Wednesday in New York City.
The institute is an extra-curricular, non-degree educational collaboration between Baruch College, Shanghai International Studies University and China's Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban).
It aims to further U.S. students' and business executives' understanding of China and the integral role it plays in the worldwide financial system. It will also provide Chinese students and business people with a better understanding of the United States and global financial markets.
Mitchel B. Wallerstein, president of Baruch College, said there is a growing need among U.S. students and businessmen for Chinese language and culture learning as China rises.
"China is an important political and economic power - not just in Asia but throughout the world," said Wallerstein.
He added that with the establishment of the Confucius Institute, the college wishes to provide all its students with a global perspective on world affairs and a critical awareness of the political and ethical issues the world faces today.
Beginning in the spring of 2018, the institute will offer Chinese language classes, cultural workshops, and global finance seminars. Plans are underway to expand the programs to alumni and New York city residents in the near future.
Jiang Feng, chairman of Shanghai International Studies University Council, said the newly-launched institute will be a great platform for both colleges to deepen cooperation and further academic exchanges.
The Confucius Institute program began in 2004. There are currently 110 Confucius Institutes in the United States. The first one was established at the University of Maryland. By the end of 2016, China has set up more than 500 Confucius Institutes in about 130 countries and regions.