China Worries Too Few Foreigners Learning Chinese

China considers foreigners learning one of the ways to raise China’s , via Reuters:

There has been a big rise in the number of foreigners learning Chinese, but still too few are studying the language, officials said on Thursday, worried this may affect efforts to soften China’s global image…

“At present, the basis for the studying or teaching of Chinese is very weak, unlike for English, French or Spanish, which have been popularized for hundreds of years,” said Xu Lin, director of the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

…”What is soft power? The best soft power is to let people know you, understand you, love you.” he said. “Less than one percent of U.S. students study Chinese. With a situation like that, it’s impossible for China to raise its soft power.”

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