Keeping Abreast of “International Historical Sciences”: Dialogue and Exchange

Social Sciences in China

Vol. 41, No. 2, 2020


Keeping Abreast of “International Historical Sciences”: Dialogue and




Wang Yuji


The 22nd International Congress of Historical Sciences, to which Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote a congratulatory letter, took place in 2015. This congratulatory letter has since been a subject of discussion among Chinese and foreign historians because it involves several fundamental issues in historical sciences. This paper presents Finnish historian Marjatta Hietala’s interview with Wang Yuji. The interview centers on four major propositions of President Xi: “Historical research forms the basis of all social sciences”; “History is our best teacher”; “Observing China’s past is an important angle for observing China today”; and “Historians can and should play an active role in building a community of shared future for mankind.” The in-depth discussion reveals the convergence and divergence of historians’ opinions both at home and abroad on some fundamental issues of historical sciences.


Keywords: Xi Jinping, historical sciences, the International Congress of Historical Sciences