SOFIA, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Bulgarian national qualifications of the Seventh "Chinese Bridge" -- Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students, were held here on Saturday.
Twelve students, representing the 1,000 teenagers studying Chinese in eight Bulgarian towns, demonstrated Chinese language and cultural skills including a tea ceremony, at the event jointly organized by the Confucius Institute and the Chinese embassy in Sofia.
The competition specially dedicated to 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and China, was won by Katerina Kopankova, 16, who will represent the Balkan country at the finals in China, together with her three runner-ups.
Yuan Jigang, head of the education section at the Chinese embassy in Bulgaria, said at the opening ceremony that learning the Chinese language will bring new, very good opportunities for everyone, as the relations between Bulgaria and China will develop increasingly in all areas.
Alexander Fedotov, Director of the Center for Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" said that all participants in the competition will have to go all the way across the bridge from the temple "Alexander Nevsky" in Sofia to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
Gu Weiping, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute in Sofia, echoed that "Chinese Bridge" is not just only a competition but a bridge linking China and Bulgaria, and cultures and peoples of the two countries.
The "Chinese Bridge" competition was first organized in Bulgaria by the Confucius Institute in 2008 to inspire the students between 15 to 20 years old to learn Chinese and enhance their understanding of the Chinese culture.