Chinese President Xi Jinping recently wrote back to representatives of Chinese language learners in Saudi Arabia, encouraging Saudi youths to learn Chinese well and make new contributions to strengthening the China-Saudi Arabia and China-Arab friendship.
Noting that language is the best key to understanding a country, Xi said he is sincerely glad that the youths have learned about a colorful, multi-dimensional and comprehensive China through learning Chinese and participating in the "Chinese Bridge" exchange program.
More than 100 young Chinese-language learners and lovers from Saudi Arabia wrote to Xi recently to share what they have gained from learning the Chinese language and their thoughts, express their wish to learn more about China, and voice their determination to become young envoys for promoting the friendship between Saudi Arabia and China.
Seven of the Saudi Arabian students of the Chinese language who wrote the letter attended an online Chinese training program at Tianjin University with the support of the International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarship from June to October 2022, according to the university.
During the training program at Tianjin University, Alruwaili Faisal Sabti became fascinated with Chinese culture and made up his mind to further his studies in China. "I'm planning to study for my master's degree at Tianjin University, as I learned that it is the first modern university in China."
"As we said in the letter, we will strive to become young envoys for promoting the friendship between Saudi Arabia and China, enhance mutual understanding and develop a long-term friendship with Chinese youths so as to jointly create a better future for China-Saudi Arabia and China-Arab relations," he added.
Teachers from Tianjin University have designed interactive videos and games during the training program to help Saudi Arabian Chinese-language learners enhance their understanding of Chinese culture. The students are also welcomed to travel and live and work in China to make new contributions to enhancing the friendship between the Chinese and Saudi peoples.
Kholoud Mohmmed Almutairi from King Saud University particularly enjoyed the Tianjin University's training program courses on Chinese food. "There is a Chinese restaurant near my home, so I know more about Chinese food. If chance permits, I shall visit China and try authentic Chinese food, like Kung Pao Chicken."
Another student, Samiyah Aaleh Almutairy from the King Abdulaziz University, said that the first China-Arab States Summit would have a great impact on his future career. "China and Saudi Arabia are having a tighter knot with each other. Learning Chinese will prove to be a huge advantage in future. I'd like to work in an international company that fosters cooperation and exchanges between the two countries," he said.
So far, Saudi Arabia has included the Chinese language in its educational system, set up majors related to the Chinese language in nine universities, trained more than 300 local Chinese-language teachers, organized over 1,100 college students to participate in the "Chinese Bridge" online winter camps, and supported more than 1,000 college students in joining the online programs of the International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarship.