International Conference on Social Development for Countries along the “Belt and Road” Kicks off at Shanghai Academy
Created On : 2018-06-29    Views : 94

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The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up and also the 5th anniversary of China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative. The reform and opening-up brings about fundamental changes to China’s social and economic landscape, and the “Belt and Road” opens up a new situation for China’s major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. To further enhance the cooperation and communication between China and other countries in the world, particularly the countries along the “Belt and Road”, we must not only increase the intensity of “bringing in” but also accelerate the pace of “going out”. In particular, we should vigorously promote Chinese academia to go out and do a good job in telling the stories of China, and through academic dialogues to publicize the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress and introduce the new achievements in China’s development. Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening up——China Development and Global Opportunities International Conference on Social Development for Countries along the “Belt and Road”, co-organized by Shanghai Academy and the Institute of Sociology, CASS, and supported by Shanghai University, was held at Shanghai Academy on June 11-12, 2018. The conference invited famous research institutes and universalities at home and abroad to make in-depth communication and discussions focusing on the achievements of the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, and the cooperation and development status of China and the countries along the “Belt and Road” under the “Belt and Road” Initiative, and the practice and experience of the countries in the world in the field of economic and social development.

Li Youmei, First Vice President and researcher of Shanghai Academy, Chen Guangjin, Director and researcher of the Institute of Sociology, CASS, Jin Zhe, Director and associate researcher of the Division of European and Asian Studies, Bureau of International Cooperation, CASS, Ponomarenko Dmytro, Consul General of Ukraine in Shanghai, Rudenko Sergii, Rector, academician and professor of Odessa National Maritime University, Hancharou Valery, President Representative of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Director and professor of the Center for System Analysis and Strategic Research, and Shi Ruijie, President and researcher of Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences addressed the conference respectively. Sobko Vsevolod, Political Counselor of Embassy of Ukraine in China read the letter of congratulations from Mr. Oleh Dyomin, Ambassador of Ukraine to China. Zhao Kebin, Executive Vice President of Shanghai Academy, chaired the opening and closing ceremonies and made a summary of the conference at the closing ceremony.

The “Belt and Road” to a Community of Shared Future for Mankind

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Li Youmei pointed out that this conference focused on the issues concerning social development which involved both the construction of people’s livelihood and the governance of both society and country and other aspects. Social development was also a common issue faced by the countries along the “Belt and Road” regardless of language, nation, race or religion. Besides universality and commonness, we should also realize the necessity of academic exchanges. Marriage, family, youth, traffic and governance innovation are all important links and key areas of social development. Discussions on these topics will also be necessary for people of countries along the “Belt and Road” to learn from each other, develop together, and solve problems in development. When visiting the Davos Conference in early 2017, President Xi Jinping put forward the idea of building a community of shared future for mankind in the face of the new situations and new issues of global development. This involves not only the fundamental issues of human development but also the directional issues of human development Centering on the theme of the international conference and the common issues concerning social development faced by the countries along the “Belt and Road”, we advocate that efforts should be made to build a community of shared future for social development, that embraces consensus on friendship, respect and tolerance. 

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Chen Guangjin expressed that, to hold academic discussions and high-end conversations on economic and social growth and future progress of the countries along the “Belt and Road”, according to the conception of cross-border collaboration of the “Belt and Road”, was in conformity with the conception and vision of joint development and common progress of both China and the countries along the “Belt and Road”. China's development is unbalanced and regional differences still exist. We should understand China’s achievements as a developing country and the challenges it faces, based on understanding the overall situation of China’s economic and social development and the existence of regional differences. On this basis, we will further promote China’s overall economic and social development, work hard to build a well-off society by 2020, and basically achieve modernization by 2035. These goals need to be realized by fully learning from international experience.

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Zhao Kebin said that we gain a better idea of the new development of China Studies and the views and academic research achievements of countries along the “Belt and Road” on the “Belt and Road” Initiative through in-depth communication with the experts and scholars of the countries along the “Belt and Road”, which has important practical significance on the further development and advancement of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Currently, Shanghai Academy focused on six fields of study: first, studies on high-quality economic and social development; second, studies on social structure and social governance; third, studies on business environment improvement; fourth, studies on cultural consumption and brand building; fifth, studies on the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta; and sixth, studies on services for the construction of the “Belt and Road”. Shanghai Academy’s fields of study coincided with the theme of this conference. As a new high-end think tank, Shanghai Academy hopes to play its resource advantage and provide intellectual support in the service of the “Belt and Road” national strategy. 

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Ji Zhe believed that in the face of the new journey in the new era, China will work more closely with the world, and was also willing to set up in-depth dialogues and exchange views on issues concerning social and economic growth with the other countries. China and the countries along the “Belt and Road” faced the same or similar challenges in many aspects, such as economic growth and social governance, so both parties should enhance mutual understanding, broaden consensus and learn from each other’s experience under the guidance of the Silk Road Spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit.