Seminar on the “40th Anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening-up and China’s Foreign Relations in the New Era” Held at Shanghai Academy
Created On : 2018-04-24    Views : 85

A seminar, the “40th Anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening-up and China’s Foreign Relations in the New Era”, jointly sponsored by Shanghai Academy and the Chinese Diplomatic Research Center of Fudan University, was held at Shanghai Academy during April 13-14, 2018. Attendees held vigorous discussions concerning China’s philosophies about foreign relations in the new era, the important aspects of China’s foreign relations, the Belt and Road initiative, and China’s geopolitics and geoeconomics in the new era. Ren Xiao, Director of the Chinese Diplomatic Research Center, chaired the meeting. Zhao Kebin, Executive Vice President of Shanghai Academy, attended and addressed the meeting. Wei Wei, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and former ambassador to Singapore and India, made the keynote speech. Experts and scholars from the China Institute of International Studies, China International Institute for Strategic Society, Nanjing University, Zhejiang University, Jinan University, Shanghai Academy and Fudan University, and other relevant experts attended the seminar.


In his speech, Zhao Kebin briefed on the nature and operation mode of Shanghai Academy. He said, Shanghai Academy is a great platform; based in Shanghai and serving the entire nation, Shanghai Academy aims to build itself into a high-end thinktank, a high-end talent cultivation base, a high-end platform for international exchanges and cooperation, and a high-end national situation research base (“four high-end bases”), by centering on the major theories and practical issues about China’s reform and development, and making use of the advantages of CASS in scientific research and policy consulting. To achieve the goal, its four divisions and nine research centers have made concerted efforts, and focused on hot issues like the Belt and Road strategy, integration of the Yangtze River Delta, development of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and the “five center” construction in Shanghai. By making investigations and holding academic seminars, it has presented excellent outcomes and submitted them to relevant departments at the central and local level, giving full play to its role as a thinktank. Academic exchanges are a major means for Shanghai Academy to build itself into a high-end platform for international exchanges. Zhao also expected the attendees to air views freely about China’s reform and opening-up and China’s foreign relations in the new era, and to contribute ideas to China’s sound foreign relations.


In his keynote speech, Wei Wei expressed unique insights into the Korean nuclear issue, China-India relations, China-Japan relations, and China-US relations. He said, “Although the tension on the Korean Peninsula situation is eased, there is a long way to go before reunification.” In the future, China must seize the initiative in the reform, opening-up and economic reconstruction on the Korean Peninsula, and link the peninsula’s economy with China’s economy. China must make Korea and Southeast Asia part of its reform and opening-up landscape in terms of infrastructures, development philosophies, and investment. That’s both a security guarantee strategy and an extension of external platforms. In terms of China-India relations, he said that, as developing countries, China and India both share many common interests and have much in common in multilateral affairs. He suggested China see “through” appearance and identify the nature before releasing policies, and also to think more from the perspective of India and learn more about India’s history, society, and culture. In terms of China-US relations, he thought the confrontation between China and US will increase, but not to the extent of breaking up, as both sides are highly dependent on each other. From a merchant’s perspective, Donald Trump raises the level of tension just to get what he wants and compel China to make concessions. So, China must keep calm and clearly identify the nature of China-US issues.

At the seminar, the attendees had in-depth discussions on China’s philosophies about foreign relations in the new era, the important aspects of China’s foreign relations and China’s geopolitics and geoeconomics in the new era.

Rong Ying, Vice President of the China Institute of International Studies, raised several questions related to China’s diplomatic theories and practice for the attendees to discuss, including the inheritance and innovation of diplomatic theories and practice, the international positioning of national strategies, the ways to implement diplomatic ideas and the innovation of diplomatic systems and mechanisms. Liu Ming, Director of the Institute of International Relations, SASS, said, peace, development, and cooperation are the basic orientation and focus of China’s diplomatic policies. The three elements require mutual understanding and cooperation among more countries, or China’s strategies like the Belt and Road initiative will be less productive. Gao Qiqi, Head of the Political Science Institute of the East China University of Political Science and Law, said, AI has profound influence on global politics and governance. China must popularize science among the public, so as to make science, particularly controllable AI, contribute to the peace and development of China and even the progress of the world. Liu Hansheng, Deputy Director of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue Office under the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said China and US must shake hands more often, work to advance bilateral ties, dare to confront and never break up. Liu Jun, Head of the School of Advanced International and Area Studies under the East China Normal University, put forward major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. He wondered whether it’s possible for China to express strong views in an indirect or soft way with Chinese characteristics. He also suggested well addressing the relations between relative and absolute issues and between historical and realistic issues in foreign affairs. Yu Xunda, Director of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Zhejiang University, elaborated China-US relations from the perspective of global politics and economics, and gave four suggestions about how to advance China-US relations. First, China must further clarify the current international system; second, it must promote people-to-people diplomacy and local diplomacy; third, it must adjust and enrich some practice under the Belt and Road initiative; fourth, G2 is possible in some fields, but can’t be stereotyped.

Chen Dingding, President of Intellisia and professor with Jinan University, expressed deeper insight into the potential directions of the US, and possible problems; Chen Wei, senior researcher with the China International Institute for Strategic Society, made detailed analysis of the significance of Chinese military going abroad in the new era; Zhu Feng, Executive Director of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies under Nanjing University, analyzed the restrictions of China’s diplomacy in the new era; Li Chunguang, Deputy Director of the Cooperation Division of Shanghai Academy, aired his views about the role of thinktanks in China’s diplomatic decisions; Qiao Yide, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of Shanghai Development Research Foundation, talked about the necessity of China’s reform and opening-up from the perspective of international economic study; Hu Lingyuan, Director of the Center for Japanese Studies under Fudan University, described the importance of strengthening high-level exchanges in China-Japan relations.

Kang Ning, researcher with the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, Yu Jianhua, Deputy Director of the Institute of International Relations, SASS, and Yang Cheng, Professor with the School of International Relations and Public Affairs under Shanghai International Studies University, attended the meeting and exchanged ideas with the experts and scholars at the site about relevant issues.

(Article by Xiang Jinmei/photos by Gong Xiaojing)