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Party on Great Wall highlights Chinese language

BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- A "Chinese language only" party has drawn more than 300 people from 40 countries to the Great Wall, where they enjoyed themselves by speaking Chinese and savoring the folk culture.

    The "Night of Chinese" cultural activity was held at Juyongguan Pass of the Great Wall about 60 km from Beijing on Thursday, attracting diplomatic envoys, people from multinationals and foreign chambers of commerce, as well as Chinese calligraphers and folk artists.

    Participants drew Chinese paintings and calligraphy, had Chinese chess and tea, and made kites -- and they all communicated in Chinese.

    The activity was aimed to give Chinese language lovers an opportunity to appreciate the time-honored culture on the Great Wall, the symbol of the Chinese civilization, which was a unique experience, said the organizers, the China Great Wall Institute and the Commercial Press.

    According to official figures, about 30 million people are claimed to be studying the language overseas. Nearly 3,000 institutions of higher education in more than 100 countries and regions have set Chinese learning courses.

    Since 2004, more than 260 non-profit Confucius Institutes have been set up in foreign countries to teach Chinese language and culture.