Britain’s Wellington college launched a Chinese language center. This center offers Mandarin learning courses.
Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony.
He said that there are three purposes for building the center. "It can be used to learn Chinese, and is also a window through which to learn about China, both ancient civilization and modern development."
"Moreover, it builds a bridge of friendship between young people from China and the UK, which is key to the future relationship of both countries," he said.
"Wellington College reminds me of Hogwarts," he said humorously, "but if you have a magic wand, leave it behind when visiting China, because all you need is what you learn here."
The Mandarin center, costing half a million pounds (roughly 4.86 million yuan), resembled a garden of the ancient style. Behind a decorated archway, a wooden bridge spanning across a pond would lead visitors to the red pavilions.
The center will be used mainly for language teaching, calligraphy lessons, conferences as well as Chinese cultural activities.
But most of all, it would act as "incentive, encouragement and reminder" for students to learn Mandarin, said Anthony Seldon, headmaster of Wellington.
"While in the center, you can hear the music and see the sight, feeling that you are in part of China," he said.
Seldon believed that language key to understanding a country and its culture. "Life will increasingly become China-centric as the country moves center stage in international affairs and business," he said.
"The teachers' job is to prepare the young people for the world, which would be inconceivable without China," he said.
Wellington has a history of 150 years, and opened its first overseas school in September 2010 in north China's Tianjin Municipality. It now has more than 200 students.
China's piano prodigy, 4-year-old Zou Yufei, or Mimi, who is the youngest pianist to play in the Royal Albert Hall in London, is a student there.
Wellington has planned to open another school in Shanghai in 2015.