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Faculty Representative Speech to CDC Program 2017 Graduating Students

Source:   2017-06-29 00:33:53

Dear Graduates and Distinguished Guests,


Good afternoon.


I’m grateful for this opportunity to speak a few words. By “a few words”, I mean half an hour. No I’m kidding!


But really I feel honored to reflect upon your stay with the CDC program and SSDPP, and to send my wishes to your great future.


First allow me to say, congratulations to the 2017 Class on your successful graduation! After two years of hard work, hundreds of hours of reading and writing, “thousands of days” with awful Beijing air, rounds of laughters and cries, you finally went through the dark tunnel of graduate study and see some lights. I meant, you finally leave behind the tough but rewarding experience of graduate study and now are ready to welcome your future careers and studies with open arms.


Learning about China’s development in China while watching the country grow everyday, must have been an interesting experience for you. Because it is for me. It is interesting because we may almost instantly apply what we learn from classes to every day observations. For example, we learned about China’s political structure and the formal and informal rules of policymaking, we can then rely on what we learn to watch how political change is unfolded. Or maybe not! But that is what makes China such an interesting country to study. Because it always defies what you assume and it requires your constant attention and learning. In fact, most if not all China experts have spent their entire life studying China but few if not none would be able to claim that they completely understand the country and can make sense of everything here. That is what makes learning China fascinating, isn’t it, and that is what makes the CDC program useful.


It is exactly because that the history is long, the developments are instant, the interactions of economy, society, politics and culture are complicated, that we’d like to try our best efforts to share with international students like you our understanding and other scholars’ understanding of China, in a comparative and hopefully objective manner. We do not hope that international students finish their studies and leave China not being able to take a step back to observe what’s happening here through historical, comparative, and analytical lens, but instead being critical of everything whatsoever. Nor do we hope that international students return to their home believing that what is learned in China can be 100% copied to their homeland. In fact, even the top Chinese scholars are still trying to figure out what led to the best, the good, and the ugly practices during decades of development in China. We want our students to be both well-informed and critical.


Apparently, China is much more determined than before to be a responsible global power by more actively participating in global governance and undertaking leadership responsibilities in such global issues as security, free trade, climate, and so forth. This grand transition of China’s foreign relations strategy has created an opportunity for international students like you, in ways that you could and could never imagine. What I see from this strategic transition is that, on the one hand, China’s participation and initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative, will benefit both China and the development of infrastructure, manufacturing, trade and livelihood in many other countries. But on the other hand, as the world encounters the woken dragon, there are many risks and inexpectancies, for both. But risks are both dangers and opportunities. Graduates like you need to grasp those opportunities and take advantage of your learning and life experience in China and at BNU, to resolve conflicts, reconcile discrepancies, and build new belts and roads to connect China with the world. This is for the better of yourself. And it is for the better of the world.


With sincere hope and abundant expectations, I truly believe that you as the CDC program’s 2017 graduates, will be able to fulfil those dreams of us being educators, and to fulfill those dreams of your own. Congratulations again to your graduation and wish you the best with your future! Thank you!


By Professor Xinsong Wang

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