Lebanese Students loudly and proudly showed off their Sinology skills at a special Chinese singing competition held in Beirut on Sunday.

Held at the Chinese Embassy in Lebanon, many young performers and a large audience gathered for the second edition of the Ambassador’s Cup Chinese Singing Competition for Lebanese Students.

With the promotion of the Belt & Road Initiative, China’s influence in Lebanon has been growing in recent years, with Chinese songs becoming more popular among local people. Many Lebanese students and children have begun to learn songs in the language.

A total of 30 local students participated in the finals of the competition, with most of them coming from local universities such as the University of Lebanon and the Confucius Institute at Saint-Joseph University. They sang classic Chinese songs such as “The Chill”, “Jiu Er” and “Chrysanthemum Terrace”, while younger children sang the likes of “A little girl with mushrooms”.

“I’m from Tyre Elite Primary School, and I sang ‘Wishing We Last Forever’. I think Chinese is interesting and fun, so I want to learn Chinese and visit China,” said 10-year-old Maria, who was the winner of the children’s division.

Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian said that the Chinese language is becoming more and more popular in Lebanon

He hopes that such competitions will help to further promote cultural exchanges between the two countries so that more local children can know about China.

“We also hope that in this way, the Lebanese people, especially students, can learn more about Chinese culture and increase their interest in Chinese culture, so as to make greater contributions to the cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between the two countries,” said Wang.

Previously, the Chinese peacekeeping construction engineering detachment to Lebanon opened a Chinese language class at an elite school, with 125 students have enrolled so far.

Teacher Xu Shengang said the popularity of the Chinese language in Lebanon continues to grow and there said the language classes are popular with local children.

“We set up a Chinese class in the Tyre Elite Primary School. Originally, we planned to set up three classes, but there were too many applicants, so we later opened a total of five classes,” said Xu Shengang, a four level master sergeant of the peacekeeping construction engineering detachment to Lebanon.

Xu added that most of the students attending the competition have been studying Chinese for about one year, with two students from the school selected to participate in the competition.