THE establishment of a Confucius Institute at the University of the South Pacific in Suva is important in promoting Chinese language and culture to Pacific Islanders.
Permanent secretary at the Prime Minister's office, Lieutenant Colonel Pio Tikoduadua said the institute would enhance the students' understanding of the Chinese language and culture.
"The establishment of the institution at USP will help students learn the Mandarin language and understand Chinese culture, music and dance in addition to the other studies they're enrolled in," he said.
Lt-Col Tikoduadua said it was also significant in that it would help students who planned to work in diplomatic institutions or foreign ministries in the future.
"Being an expert in languages other than your official language and mother tongue will be a bonus," he said.
Lt-Col Tikoduadua acknowledged that diplomatic relations between Fiji and China, which began in 1975, had achieved remarkable results and deepened, in particular with China assisting Fiji in the field of infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and mining.
He paid tribute to the positive partnership between China and the USP.