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Reform lays foundation for academic innovation

Author  :  ZHA JIANGUO and XIA LI     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2018-10-30

Recently, a symposium titled “Forty Years of Reform and Opening Up: China’s Original Theories—Practices and Future Challenges” was held in Shanghai.

Reform and opening up has provided a strong momentum and broad space for theory creation and academic prosperity. Yan Shuang, deputy director of the Department of Publicity at the Shanghai Municipal Committee, said that reform is an embodiment of revolutionary spirit.

As emphasized by the General Secretary Xi Jinping, the Communist Party of China must have the courage to carry out self-reform. The priority now is to thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era on the basis of combining the Party’s theoretical innovation with various practices.

China’s reform is not only domestic, but aims to build a proper political and economic order at the global level. In today’s international landscape, reform is an important factor in enhancing national competitiveness. The key is whether a country can treat its past and future with the spirit of reform and revolution while shouldering its mission and responsibility to the world.

Wu Xiaoming, dean of the School of Marxism at Fudan University, said that reform and opening up has provided a practical foundation for innovation in the social sciences. New Chinese social science theory will gradually move beyond being the “apprentice of Western academia,” assert itself and more deeply research Chinese society to grasp its own social reality.

While building a modern country, China has learned from the outstanding achievements of other cultures and selectively adopted good practices based on its own history and methods. Jing Yuejin, deputy director of the Department of Political Science at Tsinghua University, said that China’s development path has provided new paths for other modernizing countries.

China has pursued social transformation while maintaining steady social development. Zhang Jing, director of the Department of Sociology at Peking University, said that social change in China is not only an economic reform, but also a transformation concerning organizational categories, the relationship between individuals and organizations, and the structure of social identity relationships. China’s experiences have shown that social transformation does not necessarily lead to institutional instability, and avoiding conflict is also a path to change.

Speaking of the profound changes in contemporary China, Liu Shouying, a professor at the School of Economics at Renmin University of China, said that China’s agriculture has waved goodbye to intensification-involution, with the rural structure and function constantly diverging.

Meanwhile, Liu said the urbanization mode has shifted from one-way urbanization to urban-rural interaction. Therefore, it’s necessary to adjust public policies oriented towards one-way urbanization and reject policy stubbornly adhering to only rural China. The new goal is to realize urban-rural interaction and integration.

In the view of Lü Dewen, a research fellow from the Department of Sociology at Wuhan University, when transitioning to a market economy, China did not advance rural reform solely according to market principles, but developed rural markets based on socialist equality. The reform has inspired farmers’ enthusiam and increased their sense of security



(Edited and translated by Shao Yijia)









Editor: Yu Hui

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