The annual Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign
College Students, also known as "Chinese Bridge" Competition,
which is sponsored by the China National Office for Teaching
Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOCFL), has closed.
The semi-final competition was held in Shanghai from
December 15 to 16. All the contestants came to Beijing and 16
of them entered the final.
The final competition was held on December 21 in Starlight
Television Studio in Beijing .
Eight linguistic experts, including Su Shuyang, a famous
writer and tutor in China, and Ding Guangquan, a famous
xiangsheng (cross-talk) actor, were invited as
members of the review committee.
Every contestant delivered a short speech of two minutes
and answered some questions on China's policy, culture, law,
economy and other information. The competition atmosphere was
ardent. All the contestants showed their highest level and
moved the audiences.
An English girl Heather Inwood, who's from Cambridge
University, made a speech entitled, "If I were the next
premier of China, how would I promote bilateral culture
exchange?" When she raised the assumption of "Exchange Beckham
and Fan Zhiyi for one year", there was spontaneous warm
applause and laughter.
Singaporean girl Chin Kah Ying, who's of Chinese origin,
told a story of how her mother taught her Chinese and of her
happiness and difficulties in learning the language. Her
speech moved the audience also.
Many contestants also performed interesting programs.
American boy Zachary Christopher Brown performed a selected
passage from Sha Jia Bang, a famous Peking Opera. He
performed all three parts in the opera. His brilliant
performance amazed and amused everyone present.
Heather Inwood, the English girl, performed the song "I
can't understand", composed by herself and expressed her
difficult way in studying Chinese.
At last three top winners, five second prizes and eight
third prizes were selected. The three top winners were
Singaporean Chin Kah Ying, a Japanese girl, Takahashi Noriaki
and a Belgium boy, Arnaud G.H.M De Schaetzen. They won the
title of "Chinese Language Envoy" and scholarships up to
doctoral degree level including travel expenses.
All the contestants hugged each other in front of the
lights and some couldn't help crying.
Tan Yee Ning, who's one of the top three winners from last
year and plans to come to study in China next year, said, this
year's contest made great progress compared to the last one,
no matter in number or quality of contestants. The most
remarkable advancement was the emulation. She went on to say
that the future of the competition was easy to see -- it'll be
the most important competition for foreigners to select real
Chinese talent. The competition should go on, and one day it
will play an important role in popularizing Chinese language
all over the world.
The honoring ceremony was held on December 22 in the Great
Hall of the People. State Councilor Chen Zhili made a speech
and awarded the winners in person.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Chen Lin, December 23,