Photo by Zhu Gaolei
The president of the British Academy Lord Stern visited CASS with his entourage on the 20th of March. During the visit, he held a meeting with CASS President Wang Weiguang and CASS Vice President Li Yang.
CASS and the British Academy co-hosted a symposium on the theme of “international economic policies and governance” on the 20th and 21st of March. Experts and scholars from some important British universities and research institutions also attended.
President Wang first expressed his welcome to Lord Stern, and then exchanged views with him on the symposium. Wang suggested that although the symposium had economic cooperation as its main theme, both sides should also strengthen communication and cooperation in the areas of history, archaeology, politics, literary theory and literary criticism.
Wang also pointed out that China is faced with a heavy task in environmental governance, and that it can draw lessons from the United Kingdom. The process of solving the problem of air pollution is actually one and the same with the process of allowing a new pattern of economic growth to displace the old one, and both sides should probe into the issue of economic transition from a comparative international perspective, Wang added.
Lord Stern said that his first visit to China in 1988 had left him with a good memory. He felt very happy to visit China again as president of the British Academy, and hoped to further strengthen the relationship between the British Academy and CASS. Lord Stern also expressed complete agreement with President Wang’s proposal on pollution control. He expressed his feeling that the most significant aspect of Britain’s experience of dealing with pollution is the elimination of coal, and that the UK and China have common interests in the areas of environmental governance and addressing climate change. He also suggested that both sides should begin cooperating in various fields, including world history, the history of ideas, literature and archaeology, and co-organize symposiums in these fields.
Vice President Li mentioned during the meeting that the global situation has recently undergone huge changes, and that there will be numerous uncertainties and challenges for all countries in the next few years, all of which determine the need to strengthen cooperation and communication. A number of major events occurring around the world manifest flaws still existing in global governance, Li resumed, and both sides should regularly hold symposiums to discuss issues of common concern.
Lord Stern claimed that the world has changed dramatically during the last thirty years, and China especially so. China has turned itself from a poor and backward country into one which possesses a significant influence in international affairs. Due to this, western countries have an urgent need to deepen their understanding of China. In this sense, it would be productive to conduct cooperative research programs and co-host symposiums. Lord Stern also suggested that the topics of the symposiums should extend from the economy to the protection of cultural heritage, archaeology and intellectual history.
Li agreed with Lord Stern’s suggestions. He said that there is a degree of misunderstanding between developed and developing countries due to the lack of mutual knowledge, and that exchanges of people and capital between different countries have become larger with the deepening of globalization. In order to promote global development it is undoubtedly necessary to deepen communication and understanding between countries, Li added.
During the talks, both sides expressed their full recognition of the achievements made by the current cooperative research, exchanged opinions on the issues of common concern and discussed the areas and methods of future cooperation in depth.
Zhang Yuyan (director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of CASS), Pan Jiahua (director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies of CASS), Wang Lei (director of the International Bureau of CASS) and Athar Hussain (director of the Asia Research Centre of the London School of Economics) also attended the meeting.
The Chinese version appeared in Chinese Social Sciences Today (CASS Issue), No.239, 21th of March, 2014.
The Chinese link: http://cass.cssn.cn/yaowen/201403/t20140321_1038064.html
Translated by Chen Meina
Revised by Gabriele Corsetti