SHANGHAI, July 13 (Xinhua) -- China's Confucius Institute has opened more than 490 branches across the world and plans to increase the number to 500 by the end of this year, according to the agency.
Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Xu Lin said on Sunday all foreign directors will have attended training courses in China by the end of the year. He was speaking at an ongoing seminar held in Shanghai and attended by 36 foreign directors from 21 countries.
Xu said each institute should be tailored to local conditions, which is crucial to their sustainable development.
The nine-day event, including discussions and field trips, focuses on Chinese folklore, diplomacy, economy and traditional Chinese medicine.
Deriving its name from the renowned educator and philosopher Confucius (551-479 BC), Confucius Institutes are non-profit institutions under China's Ministry of Education that aim to promote Chinese language and culture abroad.
The first was set up in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, in 2004.