With Timely Wind and Rain, Flowers Will Bloom Speech by Dean Men Honghua At the 10th Anniversary of the Founding of the School of Political Science & International Relations
Time: 2021-08-22

With Timely Wind and Rain, Flowers Will Bloom

Speech by Dean Men Honghua

At the 10th Anniversary of the Founding of the School of Political Science & International Relations

May 19, 2019

Distinguished Experts and Leaders,

Dear Faculty Members and Students,

Good morning!

The School of Political Science & International Relations (SPSIR) of Tongji University has turned ten years old. Ten years is not very long when you compare it with the 100-plus years of history of Tongji; yet ten years is also long enough for numerous people to have met and established ties. Today, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the School, and we are honored to have your here to recall the past and look into the future. These ten years have witnessed our youthful endeavor, which we expect will flower and bear fruits. On this occasion, I would like to extend my high respect and sincere gratitude to our leaders at all levels, friends and mentors, counterparts from all circles, and alumni from all around the country, for your long-termed care and support for the growth and development of the School! We will put on greater efforts with your support and yield more positive results with your care!

"A towering tree has deep roots; the vast sea is formed by endless streams." As the world transformation and China's rise go hand in hand, the School of Political Science & International Relations was established in May 2009. Its establishment is a manifestation of Tongji’s efforts in developing social sciences. Its growth, coinciding with big changes of the world, is an exploration of the Tongji people in the development of political science. And its current development rooted in the new chapter of the times is the practice of our teachers and students to collaborate in building a first-class discipline. Since the second half of 2016, under the basic values of "openness, fairness, and justice" and with the purpose of "building the School on sound institutions, prospering it through academic excellence, making it stronger through discipline development, and putting students first", we have launched comprehensive reform to strengthen disciplinary development and achieved progress in multiple fronts including institutional construction, scientific research, talent cultivation, social services and international exchanges. On January 8, 2018, the first-level discipline doctoral programs in political science were established upon approval. In July 2018, the Tongji Base for Research on International Governance of Cyberspace under the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) & the Ministry of Education (MOE) was set up, becoming the first national research base for the liberal arts of Tongji University. Those who keep up their efforts often achieve their goal. The development in the past few years has revealed to us that being down-to-earth is the shortest road to success and being grateful makes our heart both strong and tender.

A poetic line goes like this, "When one throws me a peach, I return to him a plum." In the following, let me express my sincerest gratitude, because the ten years' growth of the School cannot be separated from the care and help it receives, or disconnected with the times or the people it is closely related to.

Thanks to the opportunities of the times and the prosperity of the country. The past decade has seen not only the growth of the School, but also the all-around rise of the country. It is fair to say that after 2009, China has gradually transformed from a participant in the international society to a leader of the world order through profound and extensive reform. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, in particular, China has interacted with the world more actively. This has put forward a new task for enhancing the country’s strategic planning and multi-level governance capability, high expectations for the theoretical and ideological contributions of domestic institutions of higher learning and scientific research institutions, and an urgent need for cultivating elites who meet the country's major strategic needs and have a global vision and strategic thinking. Marx said: "Theory is fulfilled in a people only insofar as it is the fulfillment of the needs of that people." The call of the times has created unprecedented opportunities for the growth of the School. The mission of developing disciplines has pointed a new direction for its fast and fearless progress. We are honored to live in such a great era, and we are proud for living in such a prosperous country. No matter whether the road ahead will be difficult, we at the School are willing to devote ourselves to the country with actual actions, because we share weal and woe with our Party and country in a community with a shared future of the Chinese nation.

Thanks to the leaders and colleagues in the university. We went through trials and hardships in the early days, but we were by no means working single-handedly during the ten years of growth. We always know that Tongji stands behind us and it is the mark of our belonging. In the past decade, the Party Committee and leadership of the university paid close attention to the development of the School. Through investigation, interview and other forms, they kept abreast of its changes, understood its needs, solved its problems and fueled its growth. They not only empowered us to forge ahead against a swift current in the tide of the times, but also boosted our confidence to keep our own pace in the general trend of development. Besides, the growth, maturity and achievements of the School are inseparable from the support and assistance of the school's functional departments and sibling colleges. A word in The Book of Changes says, "When two men are one in heart, not iron bolts keep them apart; the words they in their union use, fragrance like orchid plants diffuse." Gains in a journey make us happy, whereas companions who go through thick and thin with us make us even happier. In the past decade, we were fortunate to be able to "be of the same mind and boat" with every elite at Tongji; looking into the future, we hope we can still work together to "benefit the people and the world". We believe that in the pursuit of "growing with the motherland and benefiting mankind with science and education", all of us are inseparable in a community with a shared future of Tongji University.

Thanks to the predecessors for their guidance and the academic community for their care. The Book of Rites says, "Learning alone and without friends makes one feel solitary and uncultivated, with but little information." As a younger generation in the academic circles at home and abroad, we can only thrive by showing respect to the virtuous; as a fledgling in the discipline of political science, we can only grow with every passing day by going to others for advice. In the past decade, great masters came to our School to give lectures and share their wise thought; outstanding scholars gathered here to discuss and exchange ideas; peer colleges and universities joined hands with us to conduct researches and benefit the students; and cooperative institutions worked together with us to build platforms to offer planning and strategies. In recent years, we have had closer interaction with the academic circle and more frequent cooperation and exchanges with scholars through various forms such as the Forum on China & World Studies, Tongji China & World Lectures by Leading Experts, Tongji Serial Lectures on Social Sciences, and Youth Forum on China & World Studies. We saw much more vitality, literary talent and pioneering spirit, and we gained more popularity, blessing and righteousness. All these have fueled our constant progress. Cooperation and communication is an everlasting keynote. We firmly believe that all of us have a common goal in an academic community with a shared future.

Thanks to the trust of teachers and students and the friendship of the alumni. Lu Xun once said: "If there is existence, there is hope; if there is hope, there is light." For us, the commonest scene is the resonance between teachers and students, and the brightest hope is teaching benefits teachers and student alike. The growth of the School depends on the hard work of the faculty members and students and the concerted efforts of the alumni. Therefore, we must thank all the teachers, students and alumni of the School. In the past ten years, it is every passionate and brilliant class that makes us more firm in the principle of "building civilized societies with education"; and it is the happy faces on every graduation photo that make us more convinced in the belief of "building a world of harmony". On the campus of Tongji University, you are confident members of the School. After graduation, you are the pride of the School. I hope that you will use the strength built up at the School to safeguard your lofty ambition and keep you perseverant character; and I hope you will take the School as a strong supporter to devote yourselves into the progress of the times, for we belong to a community with a shared future of the School of Political Science & International Relations.

"All good principles should adapt to changing times to remain relevant." The past experiences and gains are important not only for the confidence of the present, but also for the glory of the future. Looking back, we were committed to seeking knowledge and institutional support for self-development, and striving to create a high-end platform that integrates teaching, research and consultation with domestic and foreign influence so as to move forward. Looking ahead, we will follow a differentiated development strategyto amplify our study characteristics integrating "governance and strategy", and aim to build a strategic research platform with a significant influence at home and abroad. We are determined to use another decade or so to achieve leapfrog development, clarify the focus of interdisciplinary construction compatible with the university's arrangement, and develop political science at Tongji into a first-class discipline. "The road ahead is long and has no ending, yet high and low I will search with my will unbending. The road ahead is arduous and long, yet with faith and action I will reach the destination." The next decade will be a new era in which teachers and students of the School advance bravely towards the goal of building first-class university and discipline. It will also be a new journey for us to connect with kindred spirits and global elites. Following a path of all-around opening-up and win-win cooperation, we will consolidate high-end platforms, exert great efforts in academic activities, integrate with teaching reform, innovate academic research, expand foreign exchanges, and insist on social services. We have learnt from the previous decade that breaking through brambles and thorns is the prerequisite of smooth going; and we believe making concerted efforts in the coming decade is the way to prosperity.

Last but not least, on behalf of the faculty and students of the School, I would like to say thanks again to all of you. Your arrival has added brilliance to the splendor of the 10th birthday of the School. And you are the strongest support for us to impart and acquire knowledge in the city’s hustle and bustle and make a difference in an enterprising age. I'd like to conclude my speech with a slogan of the celebration: With timely wind and rain, flowers will bloom!

Thank you!