China's Ambassador to Sierra Leone has reckoned that the Chinese language would serve as the bridge between the China-Sierra Leone cultural exchange and facilitate Sierra Leoneans to explore China's time-honoured history.
Ambassador Wu Peng was speaking on Saturday, May 26, at the Mary Kingsley Auditorium at Fourah Bay College during the 17th Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students organised by the Confucius Institute.
The competition, which is sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leoone, is regarded as a significant platform for college students across the world to study mandarin Chinese.
According to Ambassador Wu Peng, the Chinese language will effectively promote Sierra Leonean cultural dissemination to China, thus driving people-to-people, business-to-business exchanges between the two countries.
He congratulated the ten contenders for making it to the final of the competition and expressed firm belief that in the foreseeable future they would be able to serve as envoys of China-Sierra Leone cultural exchanges.
"The Chinese bridge competition has gained its great momentum over the years as an increasing number of people in Sierra Leone and around the world start to learn the Chinese language and be willing to show their talents," he said.
Ambassador Wu stated that the theme for this year's competition: 'One World, One Family' has a special meaning for everyone as they always hold the belief that China and Africa belong to a community of a shared future.
He added that over the past decades the two countries have always been good friends, who stand together through thick and thin despite changes in the international landscape.
Also speaking, the institute's local director, Kenneth Osho, said the competition serves as a bridge to promote cultural exchanges between China and the outside world.
"The Chinese Bridge Proficiency is a large-scale international competition between students at various levels of their education," he said.
Osho explained that the competition aims at arousing enthusiasm in students from various countries to learn the Chinese language and broaden their horizon in the culture and history of the People's Republic of China.
Meanwhile, the eleven students who competed in the final phase of the competition delivered wonderful speeches based on their individual experience and understanding of the theme: "One World, One Family".
At the end of the competition, Alpha Bangura emerged as champion and will represent Sierra Leone at the final contest in China later this year.