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"Chinese Bridge" Competition Warms up "Chinese Fever" in Britain


On March 13, 2010 a weekend in London in the chill of early spring, LSE Hong Kong Theatre was bustling with people, as the Preliminary Contest in the UK for the Ninth “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was held here. 20 Contestants from 12 renowned universities of the UK, including Cambridge University, SOAS University of London, University of Westminster, Nottingham University, Manchester University and Sheffield University, took part in the contest with the theme of “Chinese and the World” and over 180 guests from China and other countries presented and watched the contest.


           Ambassador Liu talked with Director Byrne                               Ambassador Liu talked with Deputy Director Sweeney

Nick Byrne, Deputy Director of London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of Confucius Institute for Business and Dr. Carole Sweeney, Deputy Director of the Joint International Unit of the British Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, first delivered speeches, in which they highly praised China as one of the world’s fastest growing economies with an increasingly prominent role in the international community. It is a great honour for LSE to host the contest and the British education authorities and major higher educational institutions are ready to further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation with China and provide a platform for more British public to learn Chinese and to understand the energetic and attractive Chinese culture.

Ambassador Liu Delivered a Speech

After that, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming delivered a warm speech. Liu started from the handsome British young man Daniel Newham, who speaks fluent Chinese and is quite well-known in China, and talked about the heating “Chinese fever” in the UK, saying that both China and the UK have time-honoured cultures and histories and both peoples pay attention to language learning. It is hoped that by learning Chinese language, the British friends will understand and introduce China, serve as envoys for the friendship between China and Britain and become participants and facilitators in the China-UK cooperation. The Ambassador announced opening of the contest in the warm applause of the audience.

Through all the three sections, speech, cultural knowledge test and talent show, the 20 contestants displayed their skills by speaking freely, singing and dancing or performing in various forms of art and demonstrated their understandings on the Chinese culture and unremitting pursuit in learning Chinese in different ways. STEWART JOHNSON from SOAS University of London won the first place with humorous language, rich knowledge in Chinese and the vividly imitated comic monologue “Three Successive Promotion”. MATTHEW BAILEY from the University of Leeds touchingly sang “My Chinese Heart” and received warm applause from the audience. CHOLE LEIPER from Sheffield University took brush and ink and won praises from the audience with a painting of orchid and two Chinese Characters “Lan Yun” (兰韵,charm of orchid). The wonderful performances of the contestants received rounds of applause and cheers and finally STEWART JOHNSON and MATTHEW BAILEY were qualified for the semi-finals in China.

Group Photo of Ambassador Liu, Distinguished Guests and Contestants

The “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students is a large international event organized by Hanban since 2002 and has been successfully held for eighth sessions, with 50,000 students around the world taking part in the preliminaries and nearly 600 college students from over 50 countries participating in the semi-finals and finals in China.


The Chinese Embassy in the UK attaches great importance to the annual “Chinese Bridge” event, and promotes the “Chinese fever” and “China fever” on this occasion to raise the awareness and understanding of the British people on China. As the “Chinese fever” is warming up, currently there are already 12 Confucius Institutes and 31 Confucius classrooms in the UK.