UK Education Minister Elizabeth Truss says that there are plans to train more than 1,200 Chinese teachers in a bid to double the number of British students learning Mandarin by 2020.

In a speech at the University of London's Institute of Education (IOE), Truss described Chinese as "the language of the future."

Currently less than one percent of the UK population can speak Chinese fluently, with attempts to offer Chinese classes held back due to a lack of Mandarin teachers. British Council data revealed that only 38 percent of private schools and 11 percent of public schools offer Chinese courses, and that just 30 new teachers receive certificates in teaching Chinese every year.