China and San Marino opened a Confucius Institute here on Sunday in a bid for bilateral cooperation on education.
The institute is to be managed by both the University of San Marino and Beijing City University, which specially offers instruction in Chinese medicine and treatment.
At the opening ceremony, Li Ruiyu, the Chinese ambassador to Italy and San Marino, said the Confucius Institute was established under a memorandum of understanding signed by China and San Marino in November 2013.
The ambassador said the two universities wanted to set up a Confucius Institute characteristically for the combined study of the Chinese language, cultural exchange, and teaching and researching on Chinese medicine and treatment, in order to open a new chapter of educational cooperation between China and San Marino.
The Confucius Institute in San Marino will arrange various courses for learning Chinese and will open the first overseas museum of Chinese medicine, Beijing City University dean Liu Lin said, adding the institute would allow people to reap the benefits of traditional Chinese culture and medical culture in particular.
The institute will also organize different activities around Chinese culture in an effort to help people of San Marino better understand China, the dean added.
The Confucius Institute, under the University of San Marino, is the first of its kind in southern Europe which has set up courses for Chinese medicine and treatment, and Chinese culture. It is also the first one set up in cooperation between China's privately-run vocational college and a foreign university.
An enclave state surrounded by Italy, San Marino is one of the oldest republics in Europe. Its territory covers 61.2 square km and the population is little more than 30,000. The official language is Italian.