MONTEVIDEO, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Uruguay's state University of the Republic (Udelar) on Friday inaugurated a seminar titled "Chinese language and cultural traditions," to familiarize students and faculties with the Asian country.
Udelar's rector, Roberto Markarian, described the seminar as an "important event" that will "serve as a good trial for the opening of the Confucius Institute," which aims to promote Chinese culture and Mandarin learning, and is set to begin operating in Montevideo in October.
"The importance of ties with China lies not only in trade or in business, but also in having a deep understanding of a culture we know little about and that is now approaching at a dizzying speed," Markarian said.
High-level officials attended the seminar inauguration at the main hall of the university's Economic Sciences Faculty, including Education and Culture Minister Maria Julia Munoz, and China's ambassador to Uruguay, Dong Xiaojun.
The seminar is designed not just for students, teachers and university staff, but also representatives of national agencies, social organizations and the public in general. More than a hundred people have signed up for the seminar which runs through August 11, the university said.
Udelar signed an agreement in April with China's Qingdao University to open a Confucius Institute in the capital.