Chinese university to offer courses in seven Pacific languages

A Chinese university is to teach a number of Pacific Island languages, including Vagahau Niue.

The Australian National University's Development Policy blog revealed the Pacific Island Country Language-Teaching Programme will be offered at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The programme is linked to efforts to facilitate the rollout of the Chinese Government's Belt and Road Initiative in Pacific Island Countries with whom China has diplomatic relations.

Approved by China's Ministry of Education in 2017, Beijing Foreign Studies University started to advertise new four-year bachelor's courses in seven Pacific languages.

These also include Vanuatu's Bislama, Cook Islands Māori, Fijian, Niuean, Samoan, Papua New Guinea's Tok Pisin and Tongan.

These languages cover all of China's eight diplomatic partner states in the Pacific.

The formal teaching is expected to start soon.

BCN News contacted the director of Niue's Education Department, Birtha Togahai, who said she had not received much correspondence from China about the programme.

Beijing Foreign Studies University is known for teaching the largest number of foreign languages compared with other Chinese universities.