Above; Barbados (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A Confucius Institute is coming to the University of the West Indies Cave Hill in Barbados.
The institute would be the fourth of its kind in the Caribbean, part of a wider push to deepen cultural and academic ties between the Caribbean and China.
Ronald Jones, Barbados’ Education Minister, said the establishment of the institute would “complement” the current teaching of Mandarin at the campus.
“This adds to the journey with the Mandarin exercise here at Cave Hill, which took a little while to straighten out and I am told is functioning and working,” he said. “This institute lends itself to cross fertilisation of ideas, understanding diversity both in language and in all the various cultural elements that are important for people to get to know and understand each other.”
Jones, calling China a “major power” in the world, said he proposed a visit by his Ministry to China later this year.
China has helped establish 440 such Confucius institutes around the world.
China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke, said she hoped “the collaborations between China and Barbados, the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill Campus … would be built into a new platform for the enhancement of China-Barbados and China-Caribbean cultural exchanges, and benefit many students of the Campus and other Barbadian people in learning the Chinese language, understanding Chinese culture and making Chinese friends.”