Beijing says 30% Chinese cannot speak Mandarin

London, Sept. 7 (ANI): China's Education Ministry has said almost 30 percent of the population cannot speak the country's national language.

A government spokeswoman said even among the 70 percent population who can speak Mandarin, many of them cannot do it efficiently, the BBC reports.

The statement came from officials after the government launched another push for linguistic unity in China focusing on the countryside and areas with ethnic minorities.

China is home to thousands of dialects and several minority languages, including Cantonese and Hokkien, which enjoy strong regional support.

The ruling Communist Party has promoted Mandarin repeatedly in an attempt to unite the most populous nation in the world.

However, earlier efforts were hampered by the sheer size of the country and a lack of investment in education in the rural areas. (ANI)

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