YEREVAN (RFE/RL) —China has built a state-of-the-art school in Yerevan where hundreds of Armenian children will study the Chinese language in addition to subjects taught in secondary and high schools across Armenia.
The Chinese-Armenian Friendship School was inaugurated on Wednesday, August 22, at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Chinese Ambassador Tian Erlong.
Officials said that the Chinese government has spent more than $12 million on building and equipping the school located in Yerevan’s northern Kanaker suburb. It is designed for up to 405 students aged between 10 and 18 who will have intensive language courses taught by Chinese teachers.
“Knowledge of Chinese opens up opportunities to access information about a huge layer of human history and civilization,” Pashinyan said at the ceremony. “I hope that this school will become a channel through which Armenians will gain more in-depth knowledge of the enormous influence which China and Chinese civilization have had on the development of humankind.”
The educational institution, Pashinyan went on, is also opening a “new page” in Chinese-Armenian relations which should now grow closer. China and Armenia have “many common interests” and like “strategic thinking,” he said.
Pashinyan said that having many Chinese speakers is also an “economic necessity” for Armenia given a rising number of Chinese tourists visiting the country. Chinese investors are likewise showing a growing interest in the Armenian economy, he added.