Qiu Yuanlun, male and of the Han ethnic group, born in May 1938, is a native of Cixi, Zhejiang Province and a member of the Communist Party of China. In July 1960, he graduated from the department of trade and economics of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He is a researcher and PhD student advisor of the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, leader of the consultative group of the China Society of Europe, and Vice-President of the Beijing Institute of Foreign Affairs. His academic expertise is in European economics. Since 1992, he has enjoyed a special allowance awarded by the State Council.
Work for the good of our country
It is not a long time since we keep terms with Qiu teacher. It was mainly during the time when I took postgraduate exam and and was a doctorate’s student in recent three or five years. In the beginning, we were very nervous in our heart and thought Qiu teacher as a domestic famous scholar must be very serious and unapproachable. But later after contacting, we were very happy because Qiu teacher was amiable, agreeable and helpful. As time went by, we knew each other increasingly, and we respected him successively; we respected his learning attitude for his devotion to national benefits. We admired his studious spirit for about half a century. We admired his excellent scientific achievements. Even so, Qiu teacher was still modest and said during our interview: “it is not worth talking actually, why I am elected a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, not because I am smarter than other peers, but because I am lucky.”
“Work for the good of our country is my lifelong purpose”
Jiang Wei and Zhang Ning (hereinafter called Wen): Mr. Qiu, could you introduce your brief experience when you worked in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences?
Qiu Yuanlun (hereafter called Qiu): after I graduated from university in 1960, I was assigned to work from Shanghai to Beijing, entered into the economic research institute of philosophy and social sciences department in Chinese Academy of Sciences, and worked under the leadership of director Sun Yefang for four years. In 1964, according to central government’s decision, the world economic research office of economic institute was separated alone and established a world economic institute, I entered into this institute and worked directly under the leadership of Mr. Li Cong. In 1977, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was established, the world economic institute combined with the world politics institute, and established a world economic and politics institute, and I worked there. In 1993, I was transferred to be as director of European Institute. From 1960 to 1979, though I made some achievements on scientific work, for example, I published and re-published the monograph “Agricultural modernization of west Germany”, translated and published several Russian works from Soviet Academy of Science. But the climax for my academic achievement was in about thirty years since reform and opening up, it was Deng Xiaoping who brought “Scientific spring”.
Wen: it is what forces that let you contribute the most creative periods in your life to scientific research for the motherland?
Qiu：Work for the good of our country is my lifelong purpose. I was born in 1938 when it was Anti-Japanese War. During my exile from Shanghai to the village of Ningbo, due to Japanese bombing, my right foot injured and became permanent disability and also made my body weak permanently. As I gradually grew up in the warfare, I was feeling that just as the nation was weak, we were insulted by foreign enemies. From 1960 to 1979, as a world economic researcher, I saw that foreign scientific revolution moved forward, many countries and regions had thrived correspondingly, but our nation was still weak and poor due to “civil disorder”, so I was worried and concerned the future of our nation. In 1979, I became the first advanced element of Chinese Communist in the research institute after “Culture Revolution”, this made me feel my honored mission and arduous task. If our nation wanted to be stronger, it must depend on each person’s efforts. Our work position required us to make greater efforts and more sacrifice.
From 1981 to 1982, I was sent to work in China’s embassy in Bonn of federal Germany. During that period, I had many chance to visit companies and enterprises, government agencies and institutions. Every one or two weeks, I would write the abundant internal data for reference, which could be available for reform and opening up as well as socialism construction when I return China every time, reported them and got praise from the leaders of world economy and politics institute and gained special award of scientific research.
In mid 1980s, there was a climax of domestic reform, and I took the opportunity as a visiting scholar in World Economy Institute of Germany University of Kiel in 1986 and 1987, took many well collected data to go there, and plus the first hand new materials I got there, I finished the book “Stable development of federal Germany economy”, which provided some reference for our macro economic adjustment, and also laid a foundation for domestic research of Germany economy.
Afterwards, I extended my field of scientific research work to the whole European economy, and focused more on various important subjects that I hosted connecting with domestic situation. I hosted subjects such as European influence on external world, China-EU business cooperation, Euro and economic globalization’ s influence on international relations, after I finished, I published seven monographs, and I usually wrote keynote speeches of the subjects, such as “economic globalization and China’s national benefits”.
Since the autumn of 1995, due to disease, I was in bad condition, but this did not become a reason of relaxation. In these periods, with the development of China-EU business cooperation, our nation extremely required to know development situation of Europe. So I wrote some articles such as “Union and reform related to Europe’s future”, “Current situation and future for European economy”, “Past, now and future for China-EU relations”. After I proposed “innovation” questions, I tried to study European history experience, and finished “Technical innovation and diffusion in the process of industrialization for European countries”. When our nation proposed “Scientific outlook on development”, I spent two years writing “Development outlook in 200 years: European Experience”. After publishing these articles, domestic counterparts had strong response and were widely cited. Currently, I am carefully preparing data and entrusting others to search detailed statistics material from abroad, I intend systematically summarize European progress and its success and failure at fifty years after “Rome Treaty” was signed.
“Diligent work and hard work are my lifelong purpose”
Wen: Mr. Qiu, it seems that scientific research is very easy, but it is very hard actually. How do you treat and deal with the relation between your work and life?
Qiu: my friends said to me: I only do working and do not live. I want to say that diligent work and hard work are my lifelong purpose.
From 1960 to 1964, when I just went to Beijing from Shanghai, I did not adapt to the cold winter in the north. Beijing was very cold when in early February in solar calendar. If I worked till eleven or twelve o’clock in the night, my kibed hands were very painful. But due to work need, with the help of the dead colleagues and Mr. Qin Guoqiao who was a abroad student in Russia, and because I had learned a little Russia in University, I spent three months learning Russian and can fluently read and translate Russian books. Then under the guidance of Mr. Liu Desheng and Mr. Bai Jingchen, I spent six months learning German from letters and spelling and mastered it. At that time, I was young and felt I had a gift for learning foreign language. But nowadays when I recall that, I often feel regret because I did not learn English well. In fact, when I was a middle school student, I gave classmates English lesson instead when the teacher was ill. Because I did not learn English well, I still sighed till now and felt “suffered a lot”. Moreover, due to historical environment at that time, I did not focus on listening and speaking of foreign language, as a result, I was wet with cold sweat when I first phone in German abroad. Soon, when participating in a party of young diplomats, I made good preparation: writing twenty or thirty sentences in advance, and recited repeatedly, later was praised in the meeting, this increased my confidence. In those years, I still learned “Das Kapital”, borrowed some materials related with Federal Germany and learned assiduously. Because I was too concentrated, I was freighted by the colleague’s joke in the night. Of course, I did not hope that I was only a person who read in a pedantic way, I also passionately communicate with colleagues and friends, and also paid attention to public utility works. In the first half of 1960s, I was honored as “living Lei feng” of world economy office in economy institute.
In 1965, I was married to Ms. Zhao Yuhuan who worked in the Second Hospital in Beijing, and lived in a small yard of Lishi alley of Dongcheng district. In 1970, we were allocated a bungalow about
Before I went to Cadres school in 1970, I moved Nanli of Yong’an, lived together with Mr. Zhang Zhuo who worked in philosophy institute, each family had one room, and toilet and kitchen were used together. After returning from Cadres school, I still lived there for eighteen years. Due to over crowding, I almost took a stool and my heavy schoolbag to write in a Ritan garden nearby on Sunday. In the beginning, I sat on a bench in the garden, due to concentration; I did not know there was a marriage bureau twenty meters away. At that time, I felt I was very handsome, when a match maker thought I was there to take a wife, so she came towards me. Later on, I should only ran toward the woods to write. In summer, when I returned home, I lived in the balcony because the balconies of most families were all “open”. I translated three Russian books and German books when I was in Ritan garden, including “England” and “Federal Germany” of Soviet Academy of Sciences with 300 thousand words respectively were published in 1980s, another was “Imperialism of Federal Germany” of Democratic Germany Research Institute with 500 thousand words, after translation, my friend borrowed from me and lost it completely. I never had time to translate it once again. Mr. Lu Xun once said: he wrote books at the time when others were drinking coffee, I also did so.
In 1988, when I was taken as deputy director of world economy institute, my housing condition improved, so I moved to a house with three rooms in Jinsong residence estate. In less than a year, I moved Chegongzhuang and lived a house with “small three rooms” (after ten years or so, high authorities also gave me another room for me) in 1989. Because I always concentrated on working, I did not decorate the house till now. I did not find time to decorate in my youth, now I am old and is not in good condition, so I do not decorate it, as long as it is quiet, bright and clean, as well as family harmony, it is ok.
Wen: we notice that there was a computer in your working office (also as your bedroom), but now it disappears, why? Does it not affect your work?
Qiu: because my eye was not good, I gave up. This brought some inconvenience naturally. Now it is a information era, there is many “dead” information and live information, the key point lies whether you are able to search and use or not. Sensitivity, intelligence and experience are all very important in this aspect.
“Though there are many achievements, it has little real quality.”
Wen: you engaged in scientific research work in most of your life, and gained fruitful achievements. How did you evaluate your own achievements?
Qiu: I have written all the works with about four million words all my life, though there are much achievement quantity, it has few real quality.
I engaged in the research of world economy and Europe economy for a long time, main monographs are: “Stable development of Federal Germany Economy”, “Agricultural Modernization in West Germany”, “Euro Starting—a big event in world economic life” and so on. Main monographs that I wrote with others are: “Foreign policies in globalization age: look for a new theory perspectives”, “EU long-term policy on China as well China-EU business relations”, “Economy globalization’s influence on international relations” and so on. Main academic papers are: “Development outlook in 200 years: European Experience”, “Economy globalization and national benefits of China”, “Union and reform related to Europe’s future”, “Current situation and future for European economy”, “Development and supervision for EU financial conglomerates” (coauthor), “Technical innovation and diffusion in the process of industrialization for European countries”. Some of these works gained various awards.
Besides my research, I also engaged in Russian and German translation work, and translated some important academic works, including “Agricultural industrialization in west Europe”, “England”, “Federal Germany”, “Germany economy: management and market”, “Currency policy theory—Methodology introduction for game theory”. I also translated English works with others.
Wen: your research on European and Germany economy has won a high admiration in domestic counterparts, and is an acknowledged leader for important subjects. So could you introduce your representative work in this aspect?
Qiu: to be honest, I just tried my best for the development of related subjects. But I had some representative work. For example, the book “Stable development of Federal Germany Economy” in 1986 served for economic reform in China made unique research analysis for market economy of Germany society, and summed up the role for Federal Republic of Germany in social economic life in four aspects: maintaining system condition, creating foundation condition, correcting economic process of daily operation condition as well as stabilizing society condition. The views in this book is widely used and gets affirmation till now.
For example, “Eight pairs of contradictions in economic globalization”, earlier (1996~1997) at home, deeply analyzed new quality and its limits in economic globalization nowadays, and indicated co-existence between beyond sovereignty and national sovereignty, co-existence between market force and government intervention, co-existence between wealth growth and unfair distribution, which decided our attitude that we adopted towards economic globalization, drawing on the advantages and avoiding disadvantages, participating selectively; we should not simply “refuse”, but not praise greatly, we should always keep clear mind. After my article was published, it got high attention in academic circle and was cited highly.
In the article of “Economic globalization and national benefits of China”, I summed up various definitions related to economic globalization in system theory, network theory and tradition theory, indicated “these definitions themselves reflected new quality in economic globalization nowadays”. We analyze relations between economic globalization and national interests of China from five aspects: economic growth, economic progress, economic safety, economic sovereignty and economic status, and advise to make new quality of economic globalization and its limits as a starting point of our national interests, this also determines that China can conditionally participate in economic globalization.
“Current situation and future for EU economy” once again focuses on a view that I insist on for a long time: EU economy is always weak in recent decades, mainly because it has three points for in adaptation, namely cannot timely adapt to globalization, modernization and integration. Meantime, I also indicate the future of European economy, which is to promote reform and deepen jointly.
In 2006, I published a long article “Development outlook in 200 years: European Experience” in “Science and Modernization” of China Academy of Sciences”, systematically summarized lessons from European industrialization, which was widely concerned in academic circle and was thought that China must learn experience from Europe.
Wen: you have been as the doctor supervisor for more than ten years, and always carefully perform the responsibility of “doctoral supervisor” and are loved by students. As we know, you have trained many doctors, and they play an important role on their own positions nowadays. So could you talk about what you have learned from work in these years?
Qiu: from 2004 to 2005, I set up two professional courses: “West Europe’s capitalism research at the turn of 20th and 21st centuries” and “Economic history in Europe”. In order to taught better, I read more than ten books with about 5 million words, and did study notes, wrote teaching outline and long lecture notes so as to truly help students in every lesson.
In the aspect of training students, I particularly paid attention to two things: first was to focus on training logic thinking, frame structure, theory foundation when they studied problem, as well as the ability of connecting actual problems, etc. This specially reflected in the process of subject selection, writing and its completion of Doctoral dissertation; second was to focus on training the ability of searching, selecting reference books and statistics data, including indication of sources for related books, publication and newspapers.
“Do learning, method is very important”
Wen: Mr. Qiu, you are always caring about academic growth for the younger generation, this makes younger generation moved. We admire your learning and behavior, so you become our lift goal. What special suggestions can you give to young scholars and students?
Qiu: after hearing my discussion, you think that I am an old pedant. Surely I am only an intellectual, but I am not a person who studies mechanically. Method is very important for learning. My experience can be summarized as follows:
We should adhere to our professions firmly. The young people are often asked to be a helper and do odds and ends, plus wide interests, they do not easily concentrate on doing profession well, however, and this point is the most fundamental. I myself grow up from firmly adhere to “economy of Federal Germany”.
I will have several questions in mind when reading. Except participating in subjects, I still have my own several questions in the heart. Compared with reading fashion magazines when sitting in sofa with your legs crossed, reading and communicating with aims will have different effects.
Selecting subjects should be proper. Selecting subject is very important when young people want to write books. Proper subject selections, including contents and words, is half done. But proper subject selection needs sensitivity, intelligence and experience.
Profession and deep are main, wide and erudite are necessary. When you first enter into the door of Academy of Social Sciences, you should become experts. Zajia is only individual phenomenon. But profession and deep for the expert still need wide knowledge as foundation, or you cannot deepen knowledge.
Limited target: young people often have big appetites, but I think that they cannot build up your constitution on one mouthful. In a period of time, such as three months, half a year and within a year, if they only propose some limited targets for themselves, at least publish one or two articles, and then do some other work. years of experience will get faster, more and better achievements.
Learning foreign language need good memory, the best time for learning it is in our youth. In order to learn fast, we can consider to concentrate on a professional learning in a period of time (one month, three months), the same vocabulary and sentence appear repeatedly will deepen our impression and memory.
Integration of book, publication and newspaper: reading can extend your logic thinking, theory system and structure frame; reading publication will help you know the major problems that people concern currently; reading newspaper can let you find the most latest and vivid typical example, which will let articles moving.
Be good at finding data: scientific researcher should find data at first, especially in China, we should be very clear for which places, which books and periodicals and which characters can be helpful to find useful data.
Quantity and quality: it should have a gradually improving process when young people do scientific research work. In the beginning, they must write more and write in many quantities, as time passes, writing in “quantity” will naturally produce “quality”. The key point is to write more. Just like watching TV Series, only watching and not writing, even if you watched one thousand TV series, you also cannot write a script, let alone “high quality”.
To have sincere friends: sincere friends can be trusted and help with each other. If a person has capability, he needs help just like “red flower also need the help of green leaves”. So young friends should complement each other and should not cut each other.
Jiang Wei, female, Quzhou in Zhejiang province. She became a doctor student in world economy major of European department in China Academy of Social Sciences in 2003. now she is editor of “International Economy Review” editorial department in World economy and politics institute of China Academy of Social Sciences.
Zhang Ning, male, born in December of
Translated by Xu Qiyuan.
Editor: Wang Daohang