Chinese Scholarship in the Forty Years of Reform and Opening Up

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.11, 2018


Chinese Scholarship in the Forty Years of Reform and Opening Up



Xie Fuzhan, Zhang Zhuoyuan, Zhang Yuyan, Xu Xianming,

Li Youmei, Zhu Liyuan, Sun Litian and Han Zhen


The third Plenary of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1978 marked the Party’s realization of a historic transformation since the founding of new China: China had stepped into a new period of socialist construction. Reform and opening up is the distinctive feature of contemporary China and the distinctive banner of the Party in the new historical era. In the last 40 years, Chinese philosophy and social sciences have marched alongside reform and opening up and the construction of socialist modernization. In every important stage of the task of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and every important historical juncture of reform and opening up, philosophy and the social sciences have made great contributions. From the reestablishment of the Party line in terms of thought to the modern formation of the theory of the preliminary stage of socialism; from the proposition and development of the theory of the socialist market economy to the formulation and implementation of the strategy of governing the country according to law; from handing on and enhancing the fine traditional culture of the Chinese people to exchanging and learning from the fine achievements of human civilization: all these embody the wisdom of expert scholars in the fields of philosophy and the social sciences. Guided by constantly developing Marxist theory, Chinese philosophy and social sciences are not only assisting China’s progress into the new historical period, but also strengthening cultural confidence, revitalizing the nation, and embarking on a road of development and prosperity with its own distinctive characteristics.


To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of reform and opening up, we invited papers on the development of disciplines including economics, law, literature, foreign relations, sociology, and philosophy over the last forty years from Xie Fuzhan, President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group, Chairman of CASS Academic Divisions Council and Research Fellow, Zhang Zhuoyuan, CASS Academic Divisions member and Research Fellow, Zhang Yuyan, CASS Academic Divisions member and Research Fellow, Professor Xu Xianming, Vice-chairman of the Supervisory Committee and Judicial Affairs Committee of the National Peoples Congress, Professor Li Youmei of Shanghai University, Professor Zhu Liyuan of Fudan University, Professor Sun Litian of Jilin University, and Professor Han Zhen of Beijing Normal University. Writing from different academic perspectives, these scholars review and summarize the major discussions and debates on important theoretical and practical questions over the past forty years, providing scholarly interpretations and theoretical reflection on the practice of reform and opening up in the past forty years with the aim of reflecting different facets of the brilliant course of development of Chinese philosophy and social sciences.


Since the 18th National Congress of the Party, the socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era, and the cause of the Party and the country has realized a historic transformation. At this new historical starting point, we should adhere to Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and base ourselves more consciously on China while learning from foreign experience, delving into history, grasping the contemporary era, being concerned for humanity and looking toward the future, embodying continuation of the legacy of the past and a national spirit alongside original creation and the spirit of the times. We must give expression to systematization and professionalism; focus on the construction of philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics; and reflect Chinese characteristics, Chinese style and Chinese manner in terms of guiding thought and disciplinary, academic and discourse system.