In early 2020, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University funded and supervised the reparation of the CIHK office, which had been damaged during the recent occupation. The support of the university and the community is very much appreciated. Although the facilities of the Confucius Institute could not be used during the period of repair, the instruction of the courses offered by CIHK went on without interruption.
The subsequent outbreak of COVID-19 compelled us to postpone or cancel four academic conferences, four forums for postgraduate students in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau region, and some other cultural activities that had been planned, but online teaching of CIHK courses was never disrupted. In July 2020, we were able to resume the academic lecture series that had been discontinued for more than half a year. By the end of 2020, CIHK and the Department of Chinese Culture have jointly presented eight lectures held either online only or online and offline simultaneously. Due to travel restrictions and the use of live online streaming, the lectures of this year have two distinctive features compared to the previous ones: firstly, most of the speakers are scholars based in Hong Kong; secondly, the size of the audience is on the rise, as non-local friends can now attend online. In the future, we will invite more local scholars to share their research results using the CIHK platform, and we will try to continue to open our lectures to non-local audiences.
The Confucius Institutes outside China usually attach primary importance to language instruction. In comparison, the Confucius Institute of Hong Kong, to adapt to its unique environment, has put more emphasis on the education and promotion of Chinese culture as well as scholarly exchanges related to Chinese culture. Since Chinese culture encompasses a wide and diverse range of aspects, including spiritual culture, material culture, elite culture, folk culture, Han culture, ethnic minority culture, local culture, and so on, our focus therefore should not be narrow and singular.
In June 2020, the Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF) was created in Beijing as a NGO and it took over from HANBAN the responsibilities of supervising the collaboration with Confucius Institutes around the world. We would like to thank HANBAN for its consistent support since the founding of CIHK, and we are looking forward to working closely with CIEF.
We sincerely hope that we will be able to receive continuous support from our friends, and we look forward to collaborating with individuals and institutions to organize educational and academic activities.