Wang Weiguang (right) and Gu Hailiang jointly unveiled the Think Tank for Innovation in Contemporary Chinese Marxist Political Economics. (Photo by Zhu Gaolei/CSSN)
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) recently established a think tank to find fresh ways to apply Marxist political economics to the pressing problems China faces today.
Established on Aug. 20 in Beijing, the Think Tank for Innovation in Contemporary Chinese Marxist Political Economics is under the organizational umbrella of the Institute of Economics at CASS, an intellectual hub for Marxist economics in academia.
The new think tank is also supported by seven other economics-related institutes as well as the institutes of philosophy and history under CASS. It is the first high-level think tank on socialist political economics with Chinese characteristics in China.
With the goal of driving growth through innovation in Chinese political economics, the new institution will channel resources at the Institute of Economics in order to build political economics into an open discipline covering economics, philosophy, economic history and the history of economic thought.
Moreover, an elite, effective and open learning-oriented team of experts will be organized to form a community for cross-disciplinary professionals.
The think tank has gathered a host of leading Marxist economists from the Institute of Economics and Academy of Marxism at CASS, and from outside CASS as well, which is fully reflective of its specialization and high level, said CASS vice-president Cai Fang.
Attendees to the founding ceremony said that the establishment of the think tank is a pioneering, innovative and strategic attempt to address the critical needs of economic and social development.
Hong Yinxing, a renowned economist and professor from Nanjing University, pointed out major issues the new think tank will address in the future.
It will first work on the problem of whom to serve: the minority or the majority. The second is the fundamental task issue. It will not only expound upon why socialism will inevitably replace capitalism but also shed more light on the economic system and development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. At the same time, the think tank will elaborate on economic laws for the primary stage of socialism while formulating the theoretical framework that will lay the foundation of a new society, Hong said.
In addition, the think tank will be devoted to resolving a series of problems after China enters the middle-income stage, Hong added.
Stressing that socialist political economics with Chinese characteristics is an important component of Chinese socialism, CASS Member Zhang Zhuoyuan said the discipline requires economic and social institutions to attain maturity, but a socialist market economy theory will be the main thread running through it.
Han Baojiang, director of the Teaching and Research Department of Economics at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, said the key to studying socialist political economics with Chinese characteristics is to figure out how to build a new socialist market economy system featuring an organic combination of socialism and the market economy.
Furthermore, attention should be paid to how to effectively integrate public and private ownership as well as distribution based on work or production factors. Balance is likewise needed between planned and/or market-based resource allocation; independence and opening-up; and advanced party and pragmatic government, Han said.