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Israel to open China studies institute

An Israeli institute for Chinese studies is set to open in October. The Confucius Institute for Chinese Studies, an initiative of the Chinese government, will begin offering classes at Tel Aviv University in October, the Jerusalem Post reported. Unlike regular university courses, classes at the Confucius Institute will be open to the public. “In the last 10 years we have experienced a huge growth in demand for Chinese language studies,” said Prof. Meir Shahar, the new institute’s director. “China is the fastest growing economy in the world today. Many Israelis are interested in learning the language history and culture of the newest global superpower,”The Chinese government’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language has opened 150 such institutes in more than 60 countries. Israel is the third country in the Middle East to open a Confucius Institute, after Lebanon and Turkey.