KATHMANDU, June 11 (Xinhua) — The Sixth Chinese language training course kicked off here on Tuesday for tourism professionals in Nepal.

A total of 60 Nepalese shall receive Chinese language training under a six-month-long program, according to Harish Chandra Shah, president of Nepal China Cultural and Educational Council, which is co-organizing the training session with the Nepal Tourism Board.

A total of 200 Nepali tourism professionals have been trained in the past five training sessions.

China is not just a “strong partner” to Nepal’s development, “but also a market for our tourism industry,” said Hit Bahadur Tamang, Nepal’s minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation.

“My ministry aims to attract millions of tourists from China to Nepal,” he said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the training course. “We need thousands of guides who can speak the Chinese language to cater to those tourists.”

“Similarly, learning the language of either country will also help expand the people-to-people relationship between the two countries,” added the minister.

Hikmat Singh Ayer, acting chief executive officer of the Nepal Tourism Board, voiced his readiness to expand the partnership to extend the training course to other parts of the country.

Chinese is not only a language, but also a tool that holds the key to an ancient civilization and culture and the direction of future technological development, said Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Chen spoke of the progress China has made in technological development, including the highest numbers of high-quality papers and patents published and applied each year.

“China ranks first in all the new scientific and technological fields, or ranks second in a few,” he added.

Chen encouraged the trainees to enjoy the learning process to have a better world opened up for them.