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Cork Independent


Student tour of China on hold

Wednesday, 19th February, 2020 4:30pm

Students who recently won a trip to China will be told when it’s safe to travel there after the trip was deferred.

Students from Carrigtwohill and Bandon were this week declared as winners of the inaugural Méihu Cup Chinese Learning Competition which was organised by Cork County Council in conjunction with Cork Education and Training Board (CETB) and others.

This is the first year of the competition, which saw 15 teams of three students compete to be one of the final two teams, who were then invited to take part in an eight day study tour in Nanjing, China.

The deferral comes as thousands of people have died in China in the past number of weeks from the Coronavirus, officially known as Covid-19.

A spokesperson for Cork County Council said: “The study tour to China will be deferred in accordance with travel advisory from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the HSE and will take place only when it has been confirmed safe for people to travel.”

The students from Carrigtwohill Community College and St Brogans College won the competition where competitors read a chosen poem about the Méihu flower in Chinese, then in English, before delivering a performance based on the poem.

The Méihu flower is the city flower of Nanjing, capital city of the Chinese Province of Jiangsu. Cork County Council first established a relationship with the region in 2013. The council went on to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu Province in 2016 to promote economic development, trade, tourism and arts and cultural exchanges for the mutual benefit of the citizens of both regions. An official agreement of friendship was subsequently signed in 2017.

Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Martin Coughlan, praised the competitors: “It’s wonderful to see young people from Cork furthering and strengthening the relationship between our two regions. The cultural exchange will be a fantastic experience for the winning students, and this contest speaks to the heart of the relationship between the two regions. Strengthening the cultural and economic ties between Nanjing and the Cork ultimately benefits the people in both regions.”

Chief Executive Tim Lucey added: “Our long term success is strengthened by our ability to forge new relationships around the world. The Méihu Cup Chinese Learning Competition gives young people an invaluable opportunity to connect with the wider world while strengthening ties between educational institutions in both Cork and Jiangsu, which will yield benefits in education, research and culture into the future.”

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