Delegates attend the launch of the Confucius Institute for Chinese Medicine at UWC on Thursday. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus
Cape Town - The Confucius Institute for Chinese Medicine launched at the University of Western Cape on Thursday will open a new window for South Africans to understand Chinese culture and build a new bridge for co-operation in the field of traditional medicine.

The Consul General of China, Jin Ling, said the institute integrated traditional and modern Chinese medicine science with Chinese language teaching.

Ling said with the deepening of friendship between China and South Africa, “time has ripened for the establishment of the Confucius Institute for Chinese Medicine at the UWC, which is luckily located in our consular district”.

He said there was no doubt that the new Confucius Institute would play an important role in education and cultural exchanges between China and South Africa, especially in promotion of traditional Chinese medicine in South Africa.

Professor Pamela Dube, deputy vice-chancellor: student development and support at UWC, said it was an honour to have Chinese partners from Zhejiang Normal University, who with UWC in 2015 first proposed a cultural and intellectual engagement to both deepen their scholarly ties and collaboratively begin sharing expertise in Chinese medicine.

Dube said the endeavour sought to build on their strengths in research, learning and teaching Chinese culture, Chinese language teaching and complementary medicine, to benefit students and communities.

“We look forward to our countries and higher education institutions working more closely together through the Confucius Institute, and where a genuine soulful gaze sees the other as a representation of oneself.

“Different, but the same,” Dube said.

UWC’s executive director: human resources, Meko Magida, said it was a remarkable occasion for UWC, as “the ceremony marked the completion of a two-year journey to have a Confucius Institute at our University”.

Magida said engagement started in 2017 because they believed in expanding their networks of co-operation and exposing their students to a wider world of culture and knowledge.

He said that last year, vice-chancellor Professor Tyrone Pretorius visited China to sign the agreements that finalised the establishment of this Confucius Institute.

“Over the next years, we will use this platform to work with Chinese universities in a range of areas and activities - culture, language, Chinese medicine and academic research,” Magida said.


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Cape Argus