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Global academics urge joint efforts to promote humanities, social sciences

Author  :  Zhang Junrong     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-05-15

A total of 150 scholars and experts from 16 countries recently gathered in Beijing to call for international cooperation in the fields of humanities and social sciences and to promote communication among civilizations.

The International Forum “Humanities and Social Sciences: Missions and Cooperation in the Context of Globalization” was held from May 5 to 6 in Beijing. It was hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and organized by the Bureau of International Cooperation at CASS.

The forum served as a prelude to the 40th anniversary of CASS, which fell on May 7. In his keynote speech, CASS President Wang Weiguang elaborated on the role the premier think tank has played as the top institution for research on philosophy and social sciences in China and a global ambassador for Chinese academics and culture.

Stressing complicated, profound changes in contemporary China and the world, Wang said that the Chinese philosophy and social sciences community looks forward to tackling major issues facing human development together with academic circles of other countries and providing mutual support for different nations.

“We expect to conduct deeper dialogue and exchange with philosophy and social sciences scholars of countries across the world to share Chinese experience, plans and opinions on international and domestic issues; our outlook on the times, the world and values; as well as our history and traditions, manners and customs, and natural characteristics,” Wang said.

“We are equally eager to learn from the advanced experience of other countries, listening to constructive advice their philosophy and social sciences communities raise on our views and practices from different perspectives,” he added.

Andrey Kortunov, director-general of the Russian International Affairs Council, noted that humanities and social sciences in Russia lag far behind natural sciences in terms of development. Russian hopes to join forces with academics from China and other countries to foster a new type of cooperative model in related areas, thereby jointly propelling the development of humanities and social sciences, Kortunov said.

Citing China’s Ming Dynasty envoy Zheng He (1371-1433), who undertook four expeditions to Africa 600 years ago, Crain Soudien, chief executive officer of the South Africa-based Human Sciences Research Council, said that Chinese scholars have inherited the tradition of Zheng, who embarked on his missions not to conquer but to learn and connect on the basis of awe and respect.

The current world is complicated and faces various challenges. Compared with natural sciences, humanities and social sciences have special missions to fulfill, Soudien said, calling on scholars to shoulder the responsibility and make greater contributions to the world hand in hand.

Pham Van Duc, vice-president of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), emphasized the need for China and Vietnam to enhance academic cooperation and exchanges because the two neighbors have a lot in common.

Duc expressed the hope that VASS and CASS, which established cooperative relations in the 1990s, can strengthen ties to explain what is happening around the world and where the world is going.

John Crowley, chief of the Social and Human Sciences Sector at UNESCO, pointed out that UNESCO and CASS have cooperated and communicated in many ways in the past 40 years, jointly improving human well-bring. Established achievements will be conducive to ushering in a new chapter of bilateral cooperation, he said.

Since it was founded four decades ago, CASS has highly valued international exchange and cooperation. Currently, it has inked more than 160 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding with academies of social sciences, think tanks, international organizations and institutions of higher education from more than 100 countries and regions.

Every year, there are more than 1,000 scholarly visits to and from CASS. Many foreign politicians have also come to visit. Annually, it holds dozens of high-level forums and symposiums together with international organizations, foreign academic institutions, think tanks and universities. CASS has become a vital channel for China’s cultural exchange with foreign countries, bringing its important roles of academic and cultural diplomacy into full play. terms of development. Russian hopes to join forces with academics from China and other countries to foster a new type of cooperative model in related areas, thereby jointly propelling the development of humanities and social sciences, Kortunov said.

Citing China’s Ming Dynasty envoy Zheng He (1371-1433), who undertook four expeditions to Africa 600 years ago, Crain Soudien, chief executive officer of the South Africa-based Human Sciences Research Council, said that Chinese scholars have inherited the tradition of Zheng, who embarked on his missions not to conquer but to learn and connect on the basis of awe and respect.

The current world is complicated and faces various challenges. Compared with natural sciences, humanities and social sciences have special missions to fulfill, Soudien said, calling on scholars to shoulder the responsibility and make greater contributions to the world hand in hand.

Pham Van Duc, vice-president of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), emphasized the need for China and Vietnam to enhance academic cooperation and exchanges because the two neighbors have a lot in common.

Duc expressed the hope that VASS and CASS, which established cooperative relations in the 1990s, can strengthen ties to explain what is happening around the world and where the world is going.

John Crowley, chief of the Social and Human Sciences Sector at UNESCO, pointed out that UNESCO and CASS have cooperated and communicated in many ways in the past 40 years, jointly improving human well-being. Established achievements will be conducive to ushering in a new chapter of bilateral cooperation, he said.

Since it was founded four decades ago, CASS has highly valued international exchange and cooperation. By signing cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding with global academic institutions, cohosting high-level forums and symposiums, conducting mutual scholarly visits and receiving foreign politicians, it has become a vital channel for China’s cultural exchange with foreign countries, bringing its important roles of academic and cultural diplomacy into full play.

Editor: Bai Le

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