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Russian language majors high in demand thanks to Belt and Road Initiative

By ZHAO XINYING in Beijing and LIU KUN in Wuhan | | Updated: 2017-07-09 11:17

The Belt and Road Initiative has provided and will continue to provide graduates of the Russian language major with better employment prospects, according to instructors of the language.

Feng Cheng, principal of Henggou High School offering the Russian language as part of its curriculum in Xianning city, Hubei province, said the implementation of the initiative will bring China and Russia closer together, which means more young people who can speak the Russian language will be necessary.

Huang Mei, director of the School of Russian Language and Culture at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said Chinese government branches with a consistent need for talent with Russian language abilities, such as the ministries of commerce, foreign affairs and culture, used to be the top employers of the graduates from the school.

Now more companies, especially energy and finance industry giants, such as China National Petroleum Corporation and some State-owned banks, are extending olive branches to students of Huang's school.

"Some hired our graduates as they have set up branch companies in Central Asian countries where the Russian language is widely used, and need people who can speak the language to work and expand the businesses there," she said

"Others that don't have businesses in those countries at present have also 'booked' our graduates as part of their talent reserve program, in case that they will need employees with these language abilities in the near future," Huang added.

She said the job market for Russian language graduates is also changing, and those mastering the Russian language and an official language of a Central Asian country at the same time are particularly in short supply and are extremely well-received in the market.

"To meet such demand, we have set up bilingual majors, such as Uzbekistan language plus Russian, Belarusian language plus Russian, Turkmen language plus Russian and so on. All are very popular among students and receive quite a number of applications," Huang said.

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