MANOA (KHNL) - The Chinese have a long history in Hawaii.
The first Chinese immigrants came here more than two centuries ago.
And a new partnership with China hopes to take that relationship well into the future.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa will soon be the home of the Confucius Institute.
"Hawaii is a very important nexus in the communications between East and West. Everything goes through Hawaii," said Hao Ping, with the Beijing Foreign Studies University, through his translator.
There are only 10 other Confucius Institutes in the nation. UH already has a Center for Chinese Studies. But the future facility will educate people of all ages, about the Chinese language and culture.
Gov. Linda Lingle, UH officials and a delegation from China attended the announcement, where they toasted a new beginning.
"We are a multi-disciplinary center and all of our faculty members are focusing on the study of China, Chinese culture, language. So this is just a wonderful honor to us," said Rosita Chang with the UH Center for Chinese Studies.
The Confucius Institute will offer everything from a sports camp, to online lessons for executives, hoping to carry on the Chinese legacy in Hawaii.