MACAO, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Macao will inaugurate its first Confucius Institute to develop Macao into an international platform for Chinese language education for overseas countries, especially Portuguese-speaking countries, the University of Macau (UM) said on Thursday.
UM said it has received approval from the Office of Chinese Language Council International to establish a Confucius Institute, as a response to the Macao Special Administrative Region's effort to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.
UM's Confucius Institute, which will be operational in early 2018 under the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, is in the design and construction process.
Faculty of Arts and Humanities Dean Hong Gang Jin and Associate Dean Shi Jianguo will serve as the director and deputy director of the institute respectively, UM added.
The university said the institute will make good use of Macao's unique status as a special administrative region, its advantageous geographic location, as well as its cultural and linguistic diversity to develop into an international platform for Chinese language teaching, training, and exchange for students from Portuguese-speaking countries and countries with relations with Macao.
The Confucius Institute is an important platform for the world to learn more about China and study the Chinese language. Some 525 branches have been established in 146 countries and regions since 2004 when the first Confucius Institute was founded.