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Last Updated: Monday January 04 2010 18:10 GMT

Children 'should' learn Chinese

Chinese soldiers at the Olympic Games

One politician reckons all children should have chance to learn to speak Chinese at school.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls said he wants secondary pupils to have the chance to learn languages spoken in China, like Mandarin and Cantonese.

More and more companies are doing business with China which makes billions of pounds worth of things like cars, televisions and electronics.

The success of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 has helped the country.

And employers say they want more people to be able to speak Chinese.


New figures show Mandarin and Cantonese are the most popular languages that companies want after French and German.

And from this year, 15 and 16-year-olds will be able to take Mandarin at GCSE in some parts of the UK.