MINSK, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- More than 250 scholars of 72 Confucius Institutes in 19 European countries on Wednesday attended the Joint Conference of Confucius Institutes in Europe held in Minsk, the national capital of Belarus.
The attendees also included experts from five elite Chinese universities. During the conference, the participants will discuss topics regarding promotion of Chinese studies, Chinese language and culture in Europe, and ways to expand cooperation among different European Confucius institutes, as well as the implementation of new projects.
While addressing the opening of the conference, Belarusian Vice Premier Anatoly Tozik said the European forum showcased the high level of relations between Belarus and China, while stressing Belarus needs specialists who speak Chinese and are familiar with China's nuclear energy, medicine, transport and telecommunications.
Chinese ambassador to Belarus Gong Jianwei also said Belarus and China are expanding cooperation in more and more areas. A total of 12 pairs of cities and regions in China and Belarus have established ties of partnership.
The interest in learning the Chinese language has been growing rapidly in Belarus. The Chinese language is studied as an independent subject in five Belarusian schools and gymnasiums, while about 2,000 Chinese students are pursuing studies as undergraduate sand graduate students at Belarusian universities.