The country is more open to the world and, as a result, more opportunities are expected to be created in this new era, a senior Chinese official said on Dec 10 at the seventh World Forum on China Studies.
More than 180 scholars from 34 countries and regions convened in Shanghai for the opening of the forum, which is themed “China in a New Era”. The two-day forum brought voices of Chinese experts from across the globe on what the term “new era” means to the world and to China studies.
“There will be more opportunities created by China for the world development, and China’s open door to the world will be wider,” Jiang Jianguo, minister of the State Council Information Office, said in the forum’s opening speech.
“The exchanges between China and other civilizations will be deepened, and China will make a bigger contribution to the building of a community of shared future.”
The term “new era” was first brought up by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the 19th CPC National Congress, which concluded in October.
Xi said the country has ushered in a new era in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. He also pointed out that by the mid-21st century, China will develop into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.
In his keynote speech, Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia and president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, recalled his first time to China 35 years ago. He said that few scholars and diplomats paid attention to the CPC’s National Congress then.
“But now, almost everyone kept a close eye on it, and the reason is simple－China has risen,” Rudd said.
“So the international community will want to know more and more about China’s plans for the future.”
Rudd further spoke about a long list of concepts ranging from ancient Chinese classics to modern Chinese political terms, and called on Sinologists to conduct research that can link ancient Chinese tradition to the modern mindset.
“I’m asked by international and political leaders around the world about what the rise of China means for them,” he said.
“They are not just interested in a list of facts and figures, they want to understand the broader picture. And for that reason, Sinologists around the world have a responsibility to help paint that picture.”
Do Tien Sam, former director of the Institute of China Studies at Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, said he had studied Xi’s report to the 19th CPC National Congress several times and found he used the term “new era” 36 times.
“From my understanding, entering a new era means Chinese people will become better off and stronger,” Do said. “Placing people at the center and serving the people will still be the main work of the CPC in the new era.”
“I have studied China for more than 30 years, and I think the CPC’s experience in running the country offers many lessons for Vietnam,” Do said.
Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, noted that current China studies in many ways lag behind practices in China.