85% of China's population to speak Mandarin by 2025

A Chinese lesson at Xiachengzi Junior High School in Muling, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

BEIJING -- The number of Chinese people who speak Putonghua, or Mandarin Chinese, will be increased to 85 percent of China's population by 2025, according to a recent circular.

The circular, released by the Ministry of Education, stressed the fundamental role that schools play in the teaching of the standardized Chinese language and characters.

It also called for wider access to standardized Chinese education in ethnic minority areas, and urged the protection of the spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities as well as the improvement of their quality of education.

The study of and guidance over new words and expressions, acronyms and foreign language words will be strengthened, while the use of language on new media will be standardized, the circular said.

It stressed the importance of promoting Chinese language education and services internationally, as well as the language's influence in the academic field.

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