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Germany aims to boost understanding of China

Not enough Germans learn Chinese, take China-related courses or spend time in the country, Germany’s federal education ministry has said.

The international importance of China is steadily increasing in ways that affect politics, economics, science and culture, the ministry said in a statement on 7 May. As a joint initiative with the foreign office and the KMK, an assembly of state education ministers, the ministry is now aiming to expand Germans’ knowledge of Chinese languages and culture.

The statement follows the publication of a document by Germany’s Mercator Institute for China Studies (Mercator) on “starting points for building China competence in Germany”. The document said that the number of German students who were studying China-related subjects or going to China for longer stays was stagnating, and set out proposals to improve the country’s “China competence”.

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