Zhou Hong, female and from the Han ethnic group, born in October 1952, is a native of Qufu, Shandong Province and a member of the Communist Party of China. She is the Deputy Director of the Academic Division of International Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In January 1992, she graduated from the department of history of Brandeis University and became a PhD. She is a Director, researcher and PhD student advisor of the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, President of the China European Academy, and Vice-President of the China National Association for International Studies and China-EU Association. She enjoys a special government allowance and was awarded the institute-level title of “Young and Mid-aged Expert with Outstanding Contribution”. Her academic expertise is society, politics and diplomacy of modern Europe.
Bearing sincerity in Heart Make Great Efforts
Knowledge is infinite Making Perfection for Extensive Knowledge
At dusk on a spring day, after a tense and busy work of the whole day, Ms. Zhou made this interview with us according to appointment which was a strike to heart. As usual, the conversation between Ms. Zhou and us started with an academic question. During the discussion, Ms. Zhou showed her consistent attitude of staying realistic and pragmatic with respect to academics once again. She does not cater to others’ points of view and will never deny others’ points of view in an easy way. Instead, she starts with the reason and finally gets to the result. She is logical and careful, making analysis step by step. After that, we entered into the subject of this interview. While going deep into the topics, Ms. Zhou’s attitude towards life which is active, optimistic as well as open and clear in addition to his entrepreneurial spirit that is undaunted by repeated setbacks left more and more profound impression on us.
Talk about Life Experience Freely and to One's Heart's Content: Choices Root in Thoughts
Yang Jiepu, Jin Ling (hereinafter referred as Wen): Ms. Zhou, it has been more than ten years that we have been acquainted with you. We are always curious about your life experience. During the period when you grew up, you experienced the “Great Cultural Revolution”. In the special age, you and your contemporaries were made to experience much more than what we experience. For example, you have the experience of going to live and work in a production team in the countryside. During the period when you were going to live and work in a production team, you had the chance to attend a university. At that time, you could choose to attend other schools, however you chose the German Language Department in Nanjing University in the end. Would you please tell us how you made up your mind to make such a choice at that time?
Zhou Hong (hereinafter referred to as Zhou): The important decision that one made during a certain stage in the life has a close relation to his life experience, characteristics and belief. The first important decision that I have made in my life shall be the choice in the major. After living a life of going to live and work in a production team in the countryside for a period of time, when I got the opportunity to make a choice from the major of Automation Control in Tsinghua University and the major of German Language in Nanjing University, I made up my mind to choose the latter without hesitation. At that time, a lot of people, including my mother, did not understand what I chose. I sought far and neglected what lies close at hand. I gave up the prestigious university and to go to a city that lies in the northern part of China which I was not familiar with. As far as many people are concerned, it looked unwise indeed. However, now it seems that it is one of the wisest choices I have made during the process when I grow up and pursues studies.
As a matter of fact, when making the choice, the question I considered with case was “what I wanted to do” and “what I was able to do”. To answer the first question, it is actually related to my experience. When I went to live and work in a production team, the time for me to study was very limited. I still remember that there was a book under the title of Country and Revolution. I had read it for a long time but I was not able to understand it. I thought the translated text was so hard to understand. Therefore, I had the opinion that if I could understand the original text it would be not so difficult for me to understand it. From then on, I started to have the idea of learning a foreign language. What is more important is that I had to choose the German Language as my major. In this way, I will be able to read the original works written by Marx and Engels. At that time, I had an extremely strong desire to read what I was interested in. As for the consideration of the second question, as far as I was concerned, the stage of learning could not be neglected. Since we had no chance to attend school in the turbulent age, the people of our generation were supposed to accept education at school. However, we went and worked in the countryside and mountainous areas. What we accepted more is the “reeducation of the poor and lower-middle peasants”. Therefore, we were relatively short of the knowledge of the mathematics and the natural science. With the attitude of being practical and realistic, I made an objective analysis on my specific situation at that time. As far as I was concerned, the German was the most suitable choice for me. As is known to all, under the special background of age at that time, the condition for study was not so good when I was pursuing studies in Nanjing University as a worker-peasant-soldier student. In such environment, what I only could do was to insist on learning with my own initiative and tenacity.
Wen: After you graduated from the university at the age of nearly 30, you gave up the work which was enviable for everyone to continue to take a more advanced course of study and training. In addition, you made up your mind to overcome the obstacle of language and study abroad on the other side of the ocean in the end. When you were in the time when you were in the face of an important choice, how did you make your choice to accept something and reject the other?
Zhou: After graduating, I was allocated to work at the Translation and Editing Bureau of the Readings of Marx's and Lenin's Original Work of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. During the working process, I gradually found out that I was short of knowledge and thus I produced the idea of taking up advanced studies. What called to my mind first was the postgraduate. In 1979, I was admitted by the philosophy department of the graduate school of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. However, after I had studied here for a year, I made a decision that changed my destiny again, which was to pursue advanced studies in the USA. As I mentioned just now, everyone’s choice is inseparable from his or her own life experience. This choice I had made at that time is related to my experience of going to live and work in a production team in the countryside to a great degree. The experience of going to live and work in a production team in the countryside expanded my vision and made me to start thinking over some realistic questions, for example “how on earth can the poor rural area develop?” “how can the rural areas in our country realize the transformation from the agricultural society to the industrial society?” “why do the reasonable suggestions, for example extensive cultivation and poor harvest are not accepted on the Northern Shaanxi Plateau instead the forest planting shall be implemented on the plateau, cannot be laid emphasis on?” and so on. However, it seems that the studies and researches in the field of the western philosophy cannot fully remove my puzzle. Therefore, I made up my mind to go abroad for further study. I was in the face of making a choice of which country I should choose to go for study: one option is Germany, where I will not have the language barrier. The other option is the USA, where I should overcome a great obstacle of language. When I was vacillating in my opinion, a teacher from my old school Nanjing University encouraged me that, “if you get the chance to learn another language, you will have one more weapon to fight in your life.” Now it seems that this choice makes me benefit a lot. To put it another way, for pursuing studies in the USA, I had to overcome a great language barrier, which therefore had tempered my will and tenacity. I also paid the price so that I am able to use English and German at work with facility today.
The Difficult Experience of Studying Abroad: Those Who Respect Themselves and Love Their Own Country Will Be Respected
Wen: When you went abroad for further study, China was reforming and opening up. In general, the gap between China and the western countries at the time are larger than that at present. As one of the first Chinese students who went abroad for further study after the reform and opening up at that time, you must be in the face of the difficulties we are not able to imagine now when you arrived on the other side of the ocean. However, in such environment, it is said that you are the first overseas student who succeeded in completing the study and got the doctor’s degree among the students from the non-English speaking countries in the department of history at that time. In addition, you had the good academic performance which your American teachers were surprised at and admired deeply. In the situation when you were in face of the great language barrier and the cultural difference, how could you keep your resolve to complete your study? After you finished your studies, how did you make up your mind to return to your own country?
Zhou: What I have to mention is that you shall have a correct judgment of yourself and be confidence as well as practical and realistic. On this basis, you shall make great efforts and work hard. One can cover a long path only step by step. When I arrived in the USA at the very beginning, my English was poor. However, I believed in my ability to comprehend and I was firmly convinced that as long as I overcome the language barrier I must be able to put forward the point of view that knows enough to come in out of the rain better than my American classmates and I will be able to have more original opinions. With respect to ability and intelligence, Chinese people are as good as, if not better than the American people. Supported by such belief, I went to the class with a radio every day. After class, I would ask help from my classmates while listen to the recordings again and again to make up for my shortcomings. Even so, when the first semester was over, I felt that my understanding of lessons had not reached the degree that I was satisfied with. The education system in the USA is greatly different from that in China. In the USA, the pattern of exam is mainly the take-home exam. It is permitted as long as you hand in your assignment at the beginning of the next semester. Such system provided me with a chance to breathe. I made use of the summer vacation. Every day, I spent my time in the library. I was working while learning. In the end, I handed in a very satisfying answer sheet. There was an episode then. At that time, the American professor did not believe that I was able to make so great progress in such a short time, so they insisted that the assignment I handed in was not finished by me. At that moment, in order to protect my own self-esteem and for the sake of the dignity of Chinese people as well as in order to prove my actual strength, I chose the other course (Romanticism) that was taught by the same professor again at the second semester. After the courses were finished, my thesis was believed by this professor in the end. There was another episode which was my choice of major. At the very beginning, I chose the political history of Europe. However, due to the prejudice on Chinese people, an American professor purposely made difficulties for the Chinese students. I made up my mind to change for another major. I chose to study the history of social policy. When I filed the petition of changing major, the head of department of history said, “You Chinese people do not understand the economics and you do not have the foundation of economics. How can you learn the social policy? If you are able to pass the exams of Micro Economics and Macro Economics, we will approve your application.” Once again, for the sake of the dignity of Chinese people, I took a start from the head to learn the course of economics. In the end, I passed the exam with good academic performance again. I succeeded in changing the major. If I am required to sum up this experience, I will say that there are many difficulties on the path of your life. The firm belief and confidence are necessary for overcoming all difficulties. In addition, you shall overcome the difficulties by means of the practical attitude. I always like treating difficulties and coping with matters by means of the positive attitude.
With respect to the issue of returning to my own country, as a matter of fact it is out of question for me. I did not hesitate when I made up my mind since I always have the opinion that I am certain to return and I must return. The purpose for me to take up advanced studies is to serve my country when I return home. At that time, our country was implementing the policy of reform and opening up. On the path of exploring the market economy by moving steadily, the development and deepening of market economy shall be equipped with the social policies so as to adjust the social problems resulting from the “market out of order”. At that time, the researches in the field of social policy in our country were nearly blank. The major I studied could be applied just in time. Therefore, it was natural for me to make up my mind to return to my own country to make researches in this field. My first work The Interpretation of Welfare was the research results I had at that time. Many of my classmates chose to stay in the USA after the finished their studies. They did not have the research world and sense of achievement as what I had, so they could not feel the respect I received on the international stage as a Chinese scholar.
The Academic Path: Making Perfection for Extensive Knowledge
Wen: You have started to mention your academic researches. We would like to listen to your experience on your path to pursue studies. From the researches on the social policy and the welfare counties at the very beginning to the supportive policies, the main body of which is country, and then expanding to the researches on the European modes, the relation between Europe and the USA as well as the relation between China and the USA, your research field is developing both in scope and in depth while expanding in width constantly. As young scholars, we often consider many questions. One of them is how to expand our own research field. How do you integrate the development in scope and in depth with the expansion in width of your research field? There is another question. Every time after we read up your works and articles, we always find out that your perspective of pursuing studies is different from the rest. What is your comment with respect to this?
Zhuo: In the process when the scholars in the field of international issues are pursuing studies, the problem that may frequently happen is that they hope to become an “all-round” scholar. However, it is impossible to build a building on the beach. You are supposed to become an expert in certain field and have a good understanding and command of the theoretical structure, the history and the current situation in this field as well as be able to do a familiar work with ease, before expanding to the researches in other field. Even though the research field is expanded, you shall not give up your own special skill or knowledge of researches. After all, the universal genius is rare. However, the research methods are connected with each other. Therefore, the research results in one field can often help you to understand the phenomenon in other fields. In addition, due to your unique perspective, you are always able to get unexpected discovery. It may be the reason why others always think my perspective is novel. For example, my researches started with the social policies. One of the key words of social policy is how to make social redistribution. As for the motivation for doing researches on the social redistribution, the political perspective is necessary and it is necessary to do researches on the characteristics of welfare country. After understand the characteristics of welfare country, it is certain to be necessary to research on the influence of such characteristics on the foreign policy. From this, my research field is expanded to the foreign aid policy of a country. It is the same that my researches on the European mode, the relation between Europe and the USA as well as the relation between China and Europe are all rooted in the researches on the welfare country. What I mean is that the expansion of research field is a process of natural growth and the result that is certain to appear during the process when your research is constantly deepening. Deepening is the premise of expansion, and expansion is the requirement of deepening. In other words, it is the so-called the extensive and the profound interact as both cause and effect and they supplement each other.
Wen: Ms. Zhou, you have a great number of works created in every field that you are engaged in, for example the Interpretation of Welfare and the Where do the Welfare Countries Go in the field of the social policy and the welfare country; the Foreign Aid and International Relation and the Foreign Aid in China in the field of foreign aid policy; the European Mode and the Relation between Europe and the USA in the field of researches on the international relation as well as the “On the Asymmetry and the Symmetry of the Partnership Relation between China and Europe” and so on. Now, would you please talk about the main academic points of view and researches experience in this works?
Zhou: In the Interpretation of Welfare I put forward that the welfare can be divided. The providers of welfare have different origins. Some of them are realized by the country’s direct intervention, some of them are realized by the country’s economic policies and some of them are providers that are companies and individuals. The nature of welfare is the transfer of capital. For the countries, it is the transfer of finance. The motive power behind the transfer is diversified. The subjects are diversified and the purposes are diversified as well. The society is a complicated entity. The different governments have different functions in different societies. Therefore, the researches on the welfare countries in Europe and America are conducive to the understanding that the different performances of the subject of welfare in the different conditions. In addition, they are conducive to answer the questions appearing in the reform of welfare system in China. Any of the western policies only has the function to be used as reference. They cannot be transplanted or copied.
Let us talk about the researches on the foreign aid. The foreign aid is also a kind of transfer of finance. Therefore, we are supposed to sort out the structure of the financial transfer of every country. In China, the main motive power of financial transfer is the strong government. In other countries, the motive powers of aid are different from each other. One of the reasons for the financial transfer is the social demand. The change of relations of production will lead to the change of means of social distribution. With the development of economic globalization, the social demand of human society also changes. In face of the change of social demand, the nation and the country is neither the only subject to respond nor the only subject that provide the foreign aid. The motive power behind the policy of foreign aid is also diversified. The foreign aid roots in the politics. However, there is not only the politics but also some factors of idealism. The multilateral providers of foreign aid not only have the advantages in terms of the hardware such as capital, technology and equipment etc. but also have the soft power such as the managerial experience and the concepts of humanities and so on. Therefore, we can take advantage of the cash flow network of the foreign aid capital to drive the expansion and the permeation of the various factors in the advanced countries that provide the foreign aid to the developing countries that receive the foreign aid at multi level. The developing countries not only need to make use of the foreign aid to develop their own hard power but also need to develop their own soft power. Only in this way can they realize the mutual beneficial cooperation between the counties that provide aid and the counties that receive aid in an actual way. China is one of the largest countries in the world that receive aid. During the 60 years after the end of the World War II, China has received the foreign aids from different channels and of different types. The foreign aids that have flown into China are much lower than the foreign capital with respect to their amount. However, the influence of the former is not less than that of the foreign capital. One of the important reasons is that the foreign aid activities are not limited to the field of economy; the national power, the social power and the cultural power of the country that provides the aid are condensed in the principle of aid and the means of aid. In addition to the “privilege capital”, those that flow into China with the aid include the technology, the concepts and the methods of the aid provider. While digesting, absorbing and using the technology, the concepts and the methods for reference, China also make the large scale economic construction and institutional reform. Therefore, the power of the tools of foreign aid has exceeded the traditional tools of foreign affairs.
The discussion on the “European mode and the relation between Europe and the USA” derives from the consideration over a question: Europe and the USA took totally different standpoints in the Iraq War. It is widely believed that the difference of the European policy and the American policy results from the difference of their interests. However, why did such a great difference of interest highlight in the policies of Europe and the USA on Iraq? To answer this question, it is necessary to start with the interior characteristics of Europe. Since a country’s foreign policy depends on its internal structure, its own history and culture, its economic and political characteristics as well as many other factors at different aspects. Based on such realization, in the keynote speech of the European mode and the relation between Europe and the USA, we made a detailed analysis of the differences between the Europe and the USA in terms of the economic modes, the political modes, the strategic culture and the values. From a relatively profound level, we analyzed the reason why there are differences of the foreign policies between Europe and the USA. In addition, we put forward that there are a great number of traditional and realistic connections and cooperative links between Europe and the USA. Meanwhile, there are a lot of old conflicts and new cracks. With respect to the economics, there are in-depth inter-dependency and extensive cooperation between Europe and the USA. However, there are a lot of conflicts with respect to the commercial interest as well. They are competing with each other secretively with respect to the economic mode. Due to its own structure and interest, on one hand the European economic mode learns from the experience of the American mode, on the other hand it seeks its own development. With respect to the political mode, the difference and similarity between Europe and the USA are certain to result in that they will play different roles or sometimes the same role on the international stage. In the political mode of Europe, the multi level structure, the experience of using the multi level power framework and the multilateralism to limit the monopole hegemony and unilateralism and the approach of using the relation of social partner to balance the varied benefits as well as the assertion of using the international rules to limit the power politics are all have the significance of being used for reference all over the world. With respect to the safety, due to the different histories, their completely different concepts of safety have come into being. Europe lays emphasis on the multilateral safety while the USA lays stress on the absolute safety. With respect to the culture, though Europe does not have the advantage of mono-culture, it has the advantages of diversification and compatibility.
The researches on the “relation between China and Europe” have their realistic demand. Both China and Europe attach great importance to the development of bilateral relation. However, the situations of non understanding and not being able to communicate often take place in the relation between China and Europe. How to treat such phenomenon, how to find out the symmetry and complementarities in the relation between China and Europe so as to enrich the content of the cooperative partnership constantly are the responsibilities and duties of researchers in the field of Europe study. On this basis, I made a detailed analysis in the article of the three asymmetries of the relation between China and Europe. They are respectively the asymmetry of the level of economic development, the asymmetry of the political and social systems and the asymmetry of the history and culture. The asymmetry of the level of economic development results in the difference of industry that China and Europe Union give priority to when making protection. There are differences of the means and strategy of the development. These differences can not only provide the opportunity of cooperation but also result in the differences of interest. In addition, the asymmetry of the level of economic development will also lead to the conflicts at other aspect. For example, the European Union countries make an utmost effort to advocate the “social clauses” in the system of Asia – Europe Meeting and the World Trade Organization, which has received the strong disagreement of China and other developing countries. The asymmetry of the political and social systems add negative factor to the sound cooperative relation between China and Europe. For example, each of European Union’s policies on China has no lack of the concerns on the political democracy of China. In addition, there is no lack of finding fault with China on its actual politics by occupying a commanding position. In the article, I emphasized that the asymmetry of the political and social systems between the European Union and China in terms of the political system is also shown at the level of structure of the foreign policy decision making. The structure of policy decision making of the European Union which is of multi level management system and the means of multilateralism which is used alternatively have been certain to make China feel puzzled and make China misunderstand. As for the asymmetry of the history and culture, it may result in the misunderstanding between each other. With respect to the foregoing three asymmetries, we shall seek for strategic consensus and expand the scope for cooperation as well as realize win-win situation. By means of there, we can seek for the symmetries and the complementarities asymmetries so as to promote the deepening of the relation of partnership between China and Europe.
Expectation and Word Sending: Based on the Foundation and Have the Courage to Explore
Wen: With the help of your introduction, we have a more profound understanding of your research structure and research results. Now, would you please talk about the current situation of researches on Europe? In addition, what is your expectation to the young scholars who are engaged in the researches on Europe?
Zhou: Our age is an age of rapid development. The age requires us to update our cognition. The age calls the penetrating judgment to a greater extent. The new research filed in the academic circles is rising up on a sudden. The undertaking of researches on Europe in the whole China is developing rapidly from the little to the much and from the weak to the strong. Especially in the recent years, the researches on Europe in China are blooming everywhere as it were. Every year, there are a great number of theses and works that are published. The knowledge products related to Europe become richer and richer. In this age of development, the one who can insist on pursuing genuine knowledge and laying emphasis to quality can be able to grasp the opportunity of continuing the stable development.
Our age is also an age when the society transforms and the morality reshapes. With the deepening of the reform and opening up, the academic exchanges between China and the western countries become more and more frequent. The former way of doing researches seem to be insufficient. New methods, new tools and new perspectives come to the fore constantly. From the ordinary introduction, the researches on Europe have developed into an in-depth analysis and then developed into the researches of different subjects. The professional research fields including the European economics, the European politics, the European laws as well as the European society and culture and so on are set up. A further step has been made to the integration of the theoretical research and the social practices. In such an age, those who can have a good command of these methods, tools, perspectives of these subjects as soon as possible and make the researches contribute to the understanding of different matters and those who are able to dot the i's and cross the t's, be devoted to their duty and come down to the ground, they can be able to be established in the new world. The same is true for every walk of life. It is the same to the academic circles to a greater extent. The circle of researches on Europe is not an expectation.
Our age is also an age of constant opening up and construction. With the new ideas and new methods flocking in as well as the usage of new tools and application of new technology, varied kinds of limits of traditional institutions have been broken down. The personnel starts to undertaken transfer and the means of using time become more flexible. The researchers shall go global. On one hand, they shall strengthen the communications between the researchers in our China and their counterparts abroad. On the other hand, we shall make use of our own knowledge to create wealth for the society. The same is true for our research institutions that shall also be available as well as welcome and admit the people from home and abroad who intend to do researches of the Europe and enable them and us to learn from each other by exchanging views and make mutual communications. In this age, those who are able to make use of resources and allocate resources in a more reasonable way can seize the opportunity for more rapid development.
The undertakings of researches on Europe of the previous days are created by the efforts and labors of a great number of seniors from the older generation. The current researches on Europe have developed rapidly. The young researchers have made great progress not only in terms of languages but also with respect to the methodology. In addition to the suggestions I mentioned just now, I hope the young scholars will not separate you from the history. In order to have a true understanding of the current Europe and the current China nowadays, we are supposed to understand how Europe can develop into what it is now and how China will develop into what it is now. In addition, we shall have an in-depth understanding of the history that China chose to accept Marxism and selected the socialist road. The basic theory of Marxism has had the significance of instruction so far. For example, if we do not analyze the development of Europe from the perspective of that mode of production determines relation of production and that economic foundation determines superstructure, we cannot make a thorough explanation on the phenomena of successes and failures in the European integration. I have one more expectation, which is that I hope the young scholars can stay at an indifferent post and dig out the research materials by put themselves out of the way. I hope they will not have such opinion that if they have read some books they are able to start writing books. They shall come down to earth and make the informative studies. This is very important for the research on Europe.
Wen: Ms. Zhou, you mentioned that we shall improve our academic communications with the outside world just now. With respect to this, we have one question to seek answer from you: in a lot of occasions of international academic exchanges, no matter whether you served as the main report or the observer or the emcee, you are all able to show the calmness of doing a familiar work with ease and the elegance which is a combination of Chinese and Western elements. What your speeches are about can always hit the nail on the head as well as clear and smooth. How can you achieve this？
Zhou: As a matter of fact, I had made preparation with care for every speech I delivered. At first, when I went to Franc and Germany to take part in the international meetings, it was specified that the time for me to deliver my speech was fifteen minutes. I wrote down the general content of my speech and read it silently for several times in accordance with the specified time limit ahead of schedule. Even so, I was still very nervous when I made speech. However, with the time when I took part in the international meetings gets more and more, I gradually overcome the tension and my language ability is also improving. Now, I just write down the outline for the specific speech when I make preparation for every speech in general. I need not write down every sentence of my speech any more. However, I have a principle that I only refer to my experience and what I have learned from my work and study etc. instead of talking at random in my speech.
Career and Life: A Balance between Multi Roles
Wen: Ms. Zhou, you have the experience of holding the post of the leader of the institute for many years. As the Director of the Institute of European Studies , would you please talk about your experience and what you have learned from the works of managing the institute?
Zhou: First of all, I want to put forward a piece of advice. To be frank with you, I hope to reform the existing management system and that I can divide the administration, the research and development management and the academic governance from each other so as to realize the professionalization of public administration. I want to release the expert scholars and the scientific research backbone personnel from the routine administrative affairs.
The actual situation of the Institute of European Studies currently is that the number of young people is larger. In addition, all of them are talents with high education background. Therefore, I implement the principle of a combination of “being strict and loose” when I conduct the administrative works. What I mean by “being loose” is that the academic researches need the free atmosphere. Therefore, I will frequently arrange some academic seminars in the institute. On the seminar, I will try my best to arouse the enthusiasm of and will not make obligatory regulations on everyone’s direction of researches and their research tasks so as to give full play to everyone’s creativity. To “be strict” is shown on the management of direction as well as the atmosphere for pursuing studies. I will require everyone to stay realistic and pragmatic and resolutely put an end to the behavior of plagiarizing with respect to academics.
Wen: In a lot of industries, the “gender discrimination” is shown in terms of recruiting talents to a more or less extent. As a female scientific research worker, have you ever had the feeling of “gender discrimination” or “gender disadvantage”? On the other hand, as a daughter living with your parents and a mother of a boy, will your busy work stop you from having enough time to care for them?
Zhou: I have not had a feeling of “gender discrimination”. My name seems to be one of the males, so I have never felt that the editor will not publish my article just because I am a female. I always have the opinion that what I am engaged in is, as a matter of fact, very suitable for the female. There is no doubt that compared to the male the female has to shoulder much more responsibilities for her family indeed. I really have not too much time to get together with my family. I can only show my love to my child by means of “quality” rather than “quantity”. As for my parents, I will try my best to make some scattered time to keep them company more. So far, the care and assistant my parents have given to me are still much more than what I have given to them.
Wen: You have made the admirable achievements. Would you please make a conclusion of your principles for conducting yourself, handling affairs and learning knowledge?
Zhou: It is very simple. Just one sentence: “Conduct yourself in an honest way and handle affairs with care!”
The interview with Ms. Zhou was made in her time that shall be out of work from the one day long works. Though she had looked a little tired, she talked with us with concentrated attention from beginning to end. During the two and half hour long process of interview, we felt the elegant demeanor of this female commissioner of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who has all characteristics of intellectuality, perceptual knowledge and maternity all the times. It is a kind of enjoyment to communicate with Mr. Zhou, which is not only greatly helpful for our undertakings of researches in the future but also makes us to learn a lot of ways to conduct ourselves and handling affairs. In the interview, Mr. Zhou also told a lot of people and thing that she will never forget throughout her life in a vivid way. With great passion, she described everyone who used to help her, including the German teacher, the Dutch classmates, the American assistant teacher, the predecessor leader and her families. She can clearly remember what their names are and she showed her gratitude to them again and again. When the interview came to an end, we accompanied her to go out of the empty and silent scientific research building. She told us again and again, “To be a human, you are supposed to have a heart of feeling grateful. Any individual that lives and develops in this society cannot do without the assistant and support of others. After all, the power of an individual is limited. Therefore, you shall be grateful to anyone who has ever lent a helping hand to you and you shall help others in the same way.”
Yang Jiepu female, was born in July 1972. She is from Chifeng, Inner Mongolia. She used to attend the Department of German Language in Tongji University in Shanghai and the Department of Europe of Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Now, she is the assistant researcher in the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Her major research fields are: social policy of the European Union, the system of welfare country and the administration of the European Union, etc.
Jin Ling female, was born in November 1975. She is from Lujiang, Anhui. She is the doctoral candidate who majors in international politics, department of Europe of Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Her major research fields are the common foreign policy and security policy of the European Union. She has published 4 related theses in varied periodicals.
(Translated by Xu Jin)
(Translated by Xu Jin)
Editor: Wang Daohang