On 29th November 2013, 8 Confucius Classroom Hubs were officially launched in Northern Ireland.
More than 50 guests attended the launching ceremony held in the Northern Ireland Assembly buildings, including First Minister of Northern Ireland Rt Hon. Peter Robinson MLA, Minister for Education John O’Dowd MLA, Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry MLA, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster Professor Richard Barnett and President of Hubei Normal University Professor Xiang Xianzhi. Mr. Zhang Huazhong, Deputy Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, was invited to the event and gave his remarks.
The First Minister warmly congratulated on the official launch of 8 Confucius Classroom Hubs in Northern Ireland and paid his appreciation and gratitude to the Chinese Government for supporting the scheme. Minister O’Dowd, on behalf of the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness MLA, also delivered his sincere congratulations and best wishes.
Mr. Zhang, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Edinburgh, send his warm congratulations and wished the 8 Confucius Classroom Hubs a success. Mr. Zhang also briefed the guests on the Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms approved by the the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, held from Nov. 9 to 12 in Beijing.
Plaques were presented by Professor Barnett to all the 8 Hub schools. Mr. John Platt, Principle of Millburn Primary School, Confucius Classroom Hub in Coleraine, spoke on behalf of principles of all the Hub schools.
On the occasion the UK Office of the Confucius Institutes Headquarters donated some books to the Northern Ireland Assembly Library. And the Choir of Millburn Primary School entertained the guests by singing English and Chinese folk songs. Their performance won warm applause and added cheerful atmosphere to the event.