Scholarships offered to Portuguese pupils studying Chinese

Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Cai Run has visited a school in the northern Portuguese city of São João da Madeira where Mandarin has been taught for the past six years, Labor reports.

The Portuguese newspaper quotes Oliveira Júnior School Director Mário Coelho as saying Mandarin is important to his school.

Mr Coelho said 235 pupils, or 15 percent of the school roll, studied the language.

He said he would keep offering Mandarin as an optional subject as long as his pupils were interested in it, and as long as he had the support of the Confucius Institute.

The report quotes Mr Cai as saying the Sino-Portuguese relationship has much to gain from the teaching of Mandarin in Portugal.

The ambassador promised a scholarship for the best student of Mandarin in Oliveira Júnior School to study in China, and scholarships for other pupils studying the language in due course, Labor says.