The 21st "Chinese Bridge" language competition for foreign college students and the 15th such competition for secondary school students in Croatia were successfully held via video on Saturday.
Chinese ambassador Qi Qianjin, who was present at the competition held at the Confucius Institute subordinate to the University of Zagreb, said that learning Chinese can serve as a bridge to understand China better.
He voiced hope that more and more Croatians would learn Chinese to promote friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Damir Boras, president of the University of Zagreb and who was also present at the competition, said that with the rapid development of China's economy, it is very necessary and important to learn Chinese.
"China is already the most important industrial country and it deserves special attention. Every young man in Croatia should think about learning the Chinese language," he said.
A total of five middle school students and three college students from across Croatia participated in the competition, including a written test, making a short speech, answering questions and making a talent show.
During the talent show, contestants displayed flute playing, Chinese dance, Chinese calligraphy, poetry recitation and song singing.
Bernada Zoricic from Pazin Middle School and Vanessa Gaza from the University of Zagreb won the top prizes in the groups of middle school and college students respectively. They will represent Croatia in the continental-level competition.
The Confucius Institute was established in 2012, co-organized by the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics and the University of Zagreb.