The National Chinese Language Conference has been taking place in North America since 2008. At present, it is the biggest such meeting in the region and has been heralded as a fantastic place to share ideas. Every year, the conference brings experts on relative topics to North America to discuss the past, the present and the future of the Chinese language and cultural education.

The experts who are in attendance each year all share the same aims and are united in their commitment to bridging the cultural gap between China and the US.

There are approximately 1.3 billion Chinese speaking people in the world; Mandarin is the most spoken language around the globe. Chinese is also considered an extremely popular business language due to the massive amount of trade that is conducted in the region and the fact that China has the second largest economy in the world.

A statistic that demonstrates the extent of the Chinese speaking population is that is has been predicted that by 2025, that there will be more native Chinese people who speak English as a second language than there is native English language speakers! For many American students who are looking to break into the business world, learning the Chinese language is a huge asset. However, it is not only the language that is beneficial to learn; having knowledge of China’s customs and culture is also advantageous to this group of people.

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The National Chinese Language Conference provides a platform to discuss the issues surrounding the increased desire and need for language knowledge. During the conference, attendees put forth ideas to combat existing issues and improve on aspects of Chinese – US relations which are already succeeding. One such idea that has already been put into practice is sending teachers from China into American school where they attempt to educate and inspire the students.

As many as 600 teachers have already taken part in the program in 38 states. Similarly, US President, Barack Obama, has pledged to send 100,000 students from his country into China on an education exchange program.

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The future of relations between the two countries relies on ideas such as the exchange program being implemented. It strengthens the bond between the two nations and encourages relationships to grow. The National Chinese Language Conference has only been in operation for a few short years, but it has the potential to have a positive impact for many decades to come!