BEIRUT, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese-Chinese cultural relations are developing "from the Silk Road into the Silk Highway," said Lebanon's Minister of Education Marwan Hamadeh Tuesday.
Hamadeh hailed the rapid expansion of cultural ties between the two countries, mentioning 30 scholarships for Lebanese and Arab students to continue studies in the Chinese city of Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province.
The scholarships, offered by the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), are seen as the latest proof of the Lebanese-Chinese friendship, he said.
Hamadeh said "the burden Lebanon is undertaking in the issue of Syrian refugees, particularly in the field of education, is huge. But with the help of the donors' countries, including China, some of this burden is relieved."
He revealed that the number of Syrian refugee students who enrolled in the current academic year in Lebanon has reached 250,000, including 30,000 in the secondary phase and the rest in the basic and elementary phases.
Hamadeh also stressed the need to upgrade the existing agreement signed between Lebanon and China in the fields of education and culture.
"There is an agreement between Lebanon and China regarding educational and cultural issues," he said, adding that this agreement "needs an upgrading, particularly in the issue of language teaching."
He noted that although the Confucius Institute in the Saint Joseph University is in place to teach Chinese, he still hopes Chinese language could be introduced into the college curriculum to save time for the Lebanese students who wish to continue higher education in China, so that they don't need to spend an extra year in language study.
The same is to be applied on Chinese students, he added, so they could be able to integrate into the Arab world in various fields like construction, sciences and business.
Hamadeh also thanked the Chinese government for the aid it provided early this year in the form of stationery to the Syrian refugees students.