Speech on the Fourth Chinese-Foreign University Presidents Forum
Dear Presidents and Entrepreneurs,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In this beautiful season, with trees coming back to life and spring flowers blossoming, we are delighted to gather in Nanjing, the capital of six dynasties in my nation’s imperial past. The night before last, Expo 2010 was unveiled in pomp and pageantry in Shanghai. Today, the Fourth Chinese-Foreign University Presidents Forum opens in Nanjing, where presidents of world-renowned universities are joined by entrepreneurs and diplomats from across the world. Your precious presence, indeed, makes this assembly hall shine in splendor! Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese government, extend our warm congratulations on the convocation of this forum, and convey our warmest welcome and sincerest wishes to all of you, our distinguished guests from afar.
The Chinese-Foreign University Presidents Forum is a venue for high-echelon dialogues on university spirit and innovative ideas; it is also an interactive platform where wisdom is shared and consensuses earnestly sought. This forum, having taken place previously on three occasions since 2002, provides a good opportunity for China to draw on the world’s advanced experience in higher education, and opens a window through which our fellow international educators can observe and understand China and its higher education at close quarters.
The theme of the currant forum, “Enhancing quality of university education”, is meant to promote global prosperity and development in the aftermath of the recent international monetary crisis. In the next few days, we shall put our heads together for a dialogue on the cultivation of innovative talents, on the building of eco-friendly university campuses, on cooperation between universities and businesses, and on other major topics concerning the reform and development of higher education in the contemporary world. Such a dialogue will mean a great deal for rallying universities and businesses in coping with challenges, improving people’s wellbeing, ushering in a promising future, and better fulfilling our historical mission and honoring our social obligations to human progress.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
The world today is in the thick of major development, transformation and readjustments. The deep-going pace of economic globalization has fused the destinies of the people of all countries in a kith and kin relationship. Humanity has achieved unprecedented prosperity and civilization, but at the same time, we are confronted with unforeseen risks and challenges, which find expression in a series of global problems in climatic changes, environmental protection, grain safety, the prevention and treatment of diseases, major disasters, public security and crucial economic and monetary issues. Reflecting on the past, every nation today is endeavoring to grasp the future and create opportunities while rising to the challenges. As the new millennium enters its second decade, monumental changes are brewing in the mode of production and lifestyles of the human society. We are in urgent need of new ideas, wisdoms, methods, science and technology, but more than anything else, we need to close our ranks and concert our efforts so that we can create a promising future for the human society.
China is a fast growing rising economy that embraces one fifth of the global population, and its all-round effort to build up an affluent society is now in a critical stage. Over the last 60 or so years, New China has increased its economic aggregates by 77-fold, its urban residents’ income by 150-fold, its rural residents’ earnings by 100-folds, and its per-capita life expectancy from 35 to 73 years. Despite all these solid facts, China today remains a developing country whose 1.3 billion people are pursuing industrialization and urbanization on a scale unmatched in world history. Our road of development has been fraught with stern challenges, including resource and environmental constraints, low-quality economic growth, and complex social conflicts that are typical of a society in transition. New driving forces and new sources of growth are badly needed in this country in order to achieve all-round, coordinated and sustainable socioeconomic development. That is why the Chinese government has initiated the concept of placing human beings before anything else, adopted a concept of scientific development, and set transforming the mode of development as its overriding strategy. We advocate innovative development, rely on progress in science and technology to cultivate new and strategic industries and revamp traditional industries, and follow the road of renovating the incentives and promoting growth from within the economy. We advocate eco-friendly development, save energy, reduce waste discharge, advance low-carbon development, and strive to build a society that is resource-economical and conservation-conscious. We advocate harmonious development, improve people’s livelihood in a down-to-earth way, promote democracy and the rule of law, safeguard social equity and justice, and furnish a better environment for the all-round development of every citizen. We champion peaceful development, seek to contribute more to the world and bring more opportunities to it through our own development. We collaborate with other nations on an equal and mutually beneficial footing and for an all-win situation, and join them in building a congenial world of lasting peace and common prosperity. Ours is a road of scientific development with a high sense of responsibility for China itself and for the future of the world as well.