From EAG News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama wants to quadruple the number of students learning Chinese in public schools by 2020.
Currently, there’s about 200,000 students learning Mandarin Chinese in U.S. public schools and the president wants to increase that number to 1 million by the end of the decade, the Washington Examiner reports.
The move is aimed at expanding connections between America and China to boost tourism and trade, and was announced by the president during a visit by the People’s Republic of China President Xi last week.
“We launch a new initiative to boost tourism between our countries in the coming months,” Obama said, according to a White House transcript. “And just as children across China learn English, we’re starting a new initiative called ‘1 million Strong’ to encourage 1 million American students to learn Mandarin Chinese over the next five years.
“Vice President Biden pointed out that two of his children are already on track – two of his grandchildren, actually,” Obama continued. “After all, if our countries are going to do more together around the world, then speaking each other’s language, truly understanding each other, is a good place to start.”
The 1 Million Strong initiative is headed by a group called the 100,000 Strong Foundation, which was first established in November 2009 by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with the goal of sending 100,000 American students to study in China. That goal was met in 2014, ForeignPolicy.com reports, so now it’s shifting focus to…