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China, UNESCO issue proclamation on linguistic diversity protection

Updated: Feb 21,2019 9:22 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) and UNESCO jointly issued the “Yuelu Proclamation,” a document on protection and promotion of the world’s linguistic diversity, at a release conference on Feb 21.

Being UNESCO’s first permanent document themed on linguistic diversity protection, the proclamation called on the international community to reach consensus and build mechanisms and take measures to protect and promote linguistic diversity.

“It crystalizes the up-to-date thoughts on preserving language resources and serves as a guide for participating countries to work out their own action plans to protect linguistic diversity,” said Tian Lixin, head of the department for language application and information management under the ministry.

The proclamation also encourages national language harmonization institutions, academia, non-governmental organizations and public and private organizations from participating countries to try various means and instruments to achieve the goal, including using artificial intelligence and telecommunication technologies.

“Culture exists through language. China has rich language resources, but some of them are in danger of dying out,” said Liu Li, president of Beijing Language and Culture University. “The proclamation will be conducive to the protection of language and culture of various ethnic groups in China.”

In September 2018, UNESCO convened the first international conference on language resources protection in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan province, and passed the proclamation draft.