His Excellency Zhang Junsai, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada, hosted a reception for Canadian "Chinese Bridge" contestants. Present at the event were around 300 students and Chinese teachers from McGill University, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal, Concordia University, University of Ottawa and Dalhousie University. The reception was MCed by Mr. Chen Wenshen, the Embassy's Minister Councilor of Education.
In his speech, Ambassador Zhang fascinated the audience with a vivid account of the challenges and joy of Chinese language study, the cultural roots and relevance of the Chinese language and how learning Chinese language will influence one's way of life and thinking.
Ambassador Zhang encouraged the students to study in China, observe in person what is happening on the ground and share ideas and views with their Chinese counterparts.
Ambassador Zhang said that he is looking forward to more displays of talents, creativity and humor from Canadian students in future "Chinese Bridge" competitions and that like Mark Rowswell, the students will contribute their unique share to China-Canada friendship and partnership.
Ambassador Zhang's remarks were received with laughter and applause from the audience, who later expressed a renewed understanding of the Chinese language and a growing interest in China's past, present and future.
The event was covered by several local and national media outlets.