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Academic exchanges promote mutual understanding

(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Wang Weiguang (R) signs a memorandum of understanding for academic exchanges with Klaus Schwab (L), executive chairman of the World Economic Forum in September, 2013. 

President Xi Jinping has emphasized the role of philosophy and social sciences scholars in strengthening the nation’s cultural soft power and increasing its discourse power on the international stage.

International exchanges have long been a priority for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). CASS has supported the “going global” strategy for the nation’s philosophy and social sciences through a series of academic diplomacy events and other international academic exchanges.

As China’s foremost center for research on humanities and social sciences, CASS serves as a window through which the world can come to understand China. Serving China’s overall interests, CASS explains China in a comprehensive and objective way, telling China’s stories, expanding international exchanges and elevating the level of academic cooperation.

CASS has established cooperative relationships with research institutions in more than 100 countries and regions. Every year more than 2,000 CASS scholars participate in international exchanges and academic visits while CASS also receives more than 2,200 visitors, most of whom are prominent specialists and scholars. In addition, CASS is also a frequent stop for foreign state and government leaders, senior officials, media professionals, ambassadors and representatives of international organizations.

More than 200 international academic meetings are held by CASS and its affiliated institutes every year. International exchanges are conducted in the form of exchanges of visiting scholars, academic meetings, joint research, collaborative publications and joint laboratories. The international outreach of CASS is drawing more attention from the international academic community as well as policymakers of some countries.

CASS scholars with excellent academic competency and foreign language skills are serving in international organizations, participating in international academic exchanges and working as editorial board members of international academic journals. In addition, CASS scholars have played an important role in explaining China’s culture, development and road through academic discourses that integrate Chinese wisdom and foreign culture.

Innovation projects for the development of philosophy and social sciences in China have provided CASS new opportunities for promoting its “going global” strategy. CASS has now established a cooperation framework for international exchanges, which includes five major parts—high-end forums, cooperative research, foreign scholar training, think tank exchanges and communication platforms.

Every year, CASS provides support to its affiliated institutes for hosting about 30 international symposiums in China. In addition, Social Sciences in China Press, the Academy of Marxism and the Institute of Sociology also held forums in Canada, Germany and the United States, respectively. Focusing on issues that are of shared interest to China and the international community, these forums are important platforms for high-end academic dialogues between China and the world.

In 2014, a CASS delegation led by academy President Wang Weiguang participated in the World Economic Forum. Wang delivered a keynote speech to a special seminar at Davos on China’s present situation and prospects for development.

CASS has held training programs for young scholars from neighboring and developing countries since 2012. The program focuses on the topic of economic development, providing training for young scholars from more than 20 countries. In addition, in conjunction with China’s Ministry of Culture, CASS has also hosted training programs for young Sinologists since 2014, which is now an important way to promote overseas research on China.    

In terms of promoting joint research, CASS has carried out a series of international cooperation programs, which applied the model of jointly choosing research topics, making research plans, organizing research teams and publishing research achievements. By means of joint invitation to tender and peer review, CASS has established cooperation programs with more than 10 foreign international scientific research institutions, including the Russian Foundation for Humanities, the British Academy, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council.

To expand think tank exchanges, CASS launched a platform for communicating with eminent international think tanks. CASS scholars visited some eminent think tanks in Europe, Asia and America, exploring foreign experience in developing think tanks and serving government policymaking.

In terms of communication platforms, CASS has established an international communication system using its affiliated websites, journals, newspapers, databases and presses. English edition of some journals are published, including Social Sciences in China, China and World Economy, International Critical Thought and Chinese Archaeology.