France  Asia

Asia is the region of the world with the least French-speaking countries and where only 1.1 million people are currently learning French. The figure is deceptive, however, since it hides situations that differ greatly from country to country and does not reflect the recently rekindled interest in French and France in some of them. The future of French influence an ideal of equality, of solidarity and economic and social progress depends on France's capacity to strengthen cooperation with Asian élites. Three intellectuals discuss the French contribution in this area. tokyo asia image "We carry the burden of the world's heritage, but it will take the form that we give it". These words of the writer André Malraux, then French Minister of Cultural Affairs, are quoted from his opening address at the Niamey conference in February 1969, which was to set up the first international organization for the French speaking world, the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (l'Agence de cooperation culturelle et technique). The author of Man's Estate (la Condition humane) ends his masterly message with this flight of oratory: "We all expect universality of France, because, for two hundred years, she alone has laid claim to it".
At a time when a number of political analysts are preoccupied with the potentially disastrous consequences of another Clash of Civilizations on a world scale due to exacerbated cultural differences, it seems advisable to reaffirm the purpose of strengthening the French-speaking community, whose values are equality, dignity, understanding and solidarity, and that Abdelkebir Khatibi, a Moroccan writer, described, at the States General of francophone writers in Paris, in 1989, as "plural universality", adding: "What of the French-speaking world in terms of an axis of civilization and international strategy?"
Asian countries like Thailand are attempting to respond to such questions by recommending a new educational approach. In this respect, the Thai Educational Reform Commission was to recall, in 1996, that "the movement towards globalisation is associated with the notion of a "world citizen", which implies new forms of education The men and women of the future should be prepared for 
multicultural interaction, for changing values, for a cosmopolitan way of life, while still being able to fight to preserve their own ideals and identity".
These preoccupations are central to the work of the French-speaking World 
Summit in Hanoi, which has decided to focus on ways of "making the most of human resources, those involved in, and the beneficiaries of, development", by relying on "stronger cooperation and solidarity of the French-speaking World for peace and economic and social development". The long tradition of France's presence and the French language in Asia, but often too, the interest of Asians in the "country of culture and the art of living", will give an impetus to the development of partnerships based on interdependence and solidarity within the French-speaking community, a grouping which should be a source of hope in matters of sharing knowledge and mutual humanitarian assistance 

Central Asia

Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan
Turkmenistan Uzbekistan
East Asia:

China Hong Kong (China) Japan
Macau (China) Mongolia North Korea
South Korea Taiwan
North Asia: Russia
Southeast Asia:

Bali ~ Indonesia

Brunei Cambodia Indonesia
Laos Malaysia Myanmar (Burma)
Philippines Singapore Thailand
Timor-Leste (East Timor) Vietnam
South Asia:

Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan
India Iran Maldives
Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka
Southwest Asia:

Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain
Cyprus Gaza Georgia
Iraq Israel Jordan
Kuwait Lebanon Oman
Qatar Saudi Arabia Syria
Turkey United Arab Emirates West Bank
Yemen

French language in Asia, but often too, the interest of Asians in the "country of culture and the art of living", will give an impetus to the development of partnerships based on interdependence and solidarity within the French-speaking community, a grouping which should be a source of hope in matters of sharing knowledge and mutual humanitarian assistance Although situated at the two extremities of the European / Asian continental land mass, cultural, religiousgreat china wall image and commercial exchanges have been active since very early times along the routes linking France to China. In the 18th century, French culture was also disseminated through the influence of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, who were to become known largely through the translation of their works into Chinese. In the following century, reforming and revolutionary currents of thought born of the French Revolution were to become widespread in Asia, particularly through the circles of free-thinkers.

Now, at the end of the 20th century, what Cu Huy Can in his message to the Secretary General of the Senior Council of the French-Speaking World (Haut conseil de la francophone), Stélio Farandjis, on the occasion of the "Asia and the French sphere of influence" conference, held in April 1997 in Paris, called "the attraction and the prestige of French culture, which remains one of the greatest cultures of the modern world", is to be reinforced by the development of economic, scientific and technical cooperation.

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