Riding the Wind and Waves Together amid the Centenary of the CPC Speech by Dean Men Honghua At the 2nd Alumni Forum of the School of Political Science & International Relations, Tongji University
Time: 2021-08-22

Riding the Wind and Waves Together amid the Centenary of the CPC

Speech by Dean Men Honghua

At the 2nd Alumni Forum of the School of Political Science & International Relations, Tongji University

May 30, 2021

Dear Alumni,

It is a great pleasure to see all of you here, the homeland that you are so familiar with. It has been 12 years since the founding of the School of Political Science & International Relations (SPSIR), Tongji University. In the past 12 years, wherever you are, you have always been caring about the development of SPSIR. Bearing in mind the identity and mission of SPSIRers, you have made admirable contributions to the country and the society with outstanding achievements in every corner of the motherland. Since the convening of the first Alumni Forum, our alumni work has received extensive attention and support from the graduates of all previous years. On this occasion of happy reunion, please allow me to say “Welcome Home” to all of you on behalf the faculty and students at SPSIR!

The School has achieved initial success through 12 years of efforts. The School of Political Science & International Relations, Tongji University was founded in 2009. Since 2016, based on the principles of openness, fairness and justice, and with the tenet of “building the School on sound institutions, prospering it through academic excellence, making it stronger through discipline development, and putting students first,” the School has vigorously deepened reform and achieved positive results, including the establishment of a complete discipline platform. At the level of the teaching platform, in 2018, the School was approved to establish a doctor’s degree authorization point for the first-level discipline of political science, and the four disciplines of political theory, comparative politics, international relations, and international strategy. In 2019, it was approved to establish a post-doctoral research station for the first-level discipline of political science. Since then, the School has laid a solid foundation for through-type cultivation and has become more mature in cultivating versatile talents. At the level of scientific research and think tank platform, the Institute for China & World Studies was established at Tongji in 2015. In 2018, approved by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) and the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Tongji Base for Research on International Governance of Cyberspace was established. The four research centers by country or region under the MOE, i.e. the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies/the Center for APEC Studies, the Center for European Studies, the Center for Korean Studies, and the Center for Polar and Ocean Studies, were rebuilt or founded at Tongji. Thus, the School has made clear the direction of scientific research.

Over the past 12 years, the School has preliminarily built a teaching team with an optimized professional structure, a reasonable age structure, and a certain academic influence at home and abroad. Since 2016, we have appointed 2 chief experts under the Central Marxist Theory Research and Construction Project as distinguished professors. Our teachers have won titles including Leading Talent in Philosophy and Social Sciences of the National “Ten Thousand Talents Program”, Cultural Figure & Talent in the “Four Talent Programs” of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, Shanghai Pujiang Talent, and Shanghai Chenguang Scholar, etc. Also, we have appointed a number of renowned political scientists to form an advisory committee on development of the political science discipline, more than 20 domestic and foreign professionals as adjunct professors, three well-known scholars as visiting fellows at the Institute of Advanced Studies, and two top-notch young talents in the National “Ten Thousand Talents Program” as part-time (adjunct) doctoral supervisors.

Over the past 12 years, the School has established a leading scientific and academic research field with distinctive characteristics in China. Since 2016, with a focus on the studies of governance, strategy and thought history, it has gradually shaped an open research pattern characterized by “one body and two wings”. Specifically, one body refers to China strategy studies, and two wings refer to Asia-Pacific studies and European studies. The School has integrated global governance and regional governance for international relations studies, national governance and grassroots governance for political science, and social governance and community governance for sociology, to coordinate the research directions of various disciplines. The School strives to play a leading role in areas such as traditions of China’s strategy, comparison of strategies for the rise of major powers, comparison of major powers’ strategies after rise. At the same time, with the support of the Institute for China & World Studies, the School has initiated a series of brand events such as the Forum on China & World Studies, the Youth Forum on China & World Studies, and Global Emerging Scholar Forum. Major publications include Chinese Journal of Strategic Studies, Studies in Grand Strategy by Peking University Press, The Tradition of China Strategy and Major Power Strategy by People’s Publishing House, Social Sciences Series of Tongji University by China Social Science Press, China’s National Strategy and Northeast Asia Strategy by China Economic Publishing House, and Chinese Strategy Studies and Governance and Strategy by Shanghai People’s Publishing Group. Thanks to these, the School has established an important position in the field of strategy studies.

Over the past 12 years, the School has been committed to cultivating elites with a global vision and strategic thinking, who are able to provide innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to major practical problems, and have a good knowledge of national governance and international affair. Since 2016, our students have won more than 70 national, provincial and university awards in social practice, innovation and entrepreneurship, and other activities and competitions, including the first prize of Shanghai Undergraduate Social Sciences Forum 2016, the gold award of the Practice Challenge of China College Students’ Entrepreneurship Competition 2016, the gold award of the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge of Shanghai College Students’ Entrepreneurship Competition 2018, the gold award of the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge of China College Students’ Entrepreneurship Competition 2018, the special prize of the Zhixing Cup Shanghai College Students’ Social Practice Project Competition 2018, and the first prize of the first National Undergraduate Forum on International Politics 2019. With a commitment to the “Three All-Rounds Education” concept, the School has taken effective measures to define goals, pool resources, follow rules and innovate mechanisms, in an effort to make talent cultivation more targeted and effective, and fulfill the duty and mission of educating talents for the Party and the country.

The School has nurtured a great number of talents in the past 12 years. Every living thing is full of energy in early summer. SPSIR is a cradle of talents. With a commitment to the educational philosophy of “fostering virtue through education” and based on the overall situation and strategic pattern of the Party and the country, the School has made effort to align the development of higher education with the realization of high-quality development to cultivate young talents that will undertake the responsibility of national rejuvenation in the new era. The School has held a number of branded activities including Tongji China & World Lectures by Leading Experts, Tongji Serial Lectures on Social Sciences, and Tongji Youth Workshop on Governance & Strategy to which global leading scholars and young talents are invited to share their views and wisdom, to provide Tongji students with a premier channel for learning China and the rest of the world, governance and strategy, and frontier knowledge of humanities and social sciences. In doing so, the School seeks to contribute to Tongji’s ideological and political education reform, and advance the patriotism education campaign. Based on the principle of “putting student first”, the School tries to meet students’ actual needs in curriculum design, teacher allocation, campus life, and mental health. It has built a multi-dimensional curriculum system that is dominated by in-class teaching and supplemented by academic activities, while taking into account the value of independent thinking from student discussion, in pursuit of an organic balance between happy learning and innovative thinking. The School launches characteristic student and academic activities, focuses on the “second classroom” development, and advocates the synergy between in-class teaching and extracurricular practices. Relying on its research characteristics, the social science projects undertaken by teachers, and its serial lectures, the School encourages students to conduct practical research, walk into the field and go abroad, to keep abreast of the changing domestic and international situations, and keep an watchful eye on national development and global governance; The School pays attention to the mental health of students. There are not only full-time mental health counselors at the administrative level, but also a “mood coordinator” assigned for each class, so as to give students sufficient emotional and humanistic care, and ensure their physical and mental health; In pursuing international exchange programs, the School has offered double degree program in partnership with some world-renowned universities such as the University of Turin, the University of Florence, and the Free University of Brussels. Each academic year, eligible students go to partner universities in Asia, Europe and America to participate in the exchange programs. At the same time, the School actively accepts international students and helps them better understand China’s national conditions and culture. Based on its internationalization strategy, the School has co-hosted the Shanghai-Busan Cooperation Forum with Dongseo University in South Korea, and the China-Japan Economic Strategic Dialogue with the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Japan. Thus, it is able to promote the internationalization of its disciplines, bring closer the ties between Chinese and foreign students, and enable its alumni, who are all over the world, to serve the development of domestic and international strategies. The School is an academic paradise for students. Over the past 12 years, it has cultivated batches of elites who vow to dedicate themselves to serving the country’s international strategies for the Party and government agencies and all sectors of society. SPSIR graduates can be found in many important diplomatic and foreign affairs agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Foreign Affairs Office of Shanghai Municipality, and the Embassy or Consulate General of many countries in China. The School is building a top talent pipeline in Shanghai that fosters high-caliber talents in political science & international relations and national strategy & governance studies.

The School is committed to educating talents for the Party to help realize the centenary goals. Under the great guidance of Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of “Three Represents”, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the School strives to serve the Party and the country’s Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy, adhere to the concept of “fostering virtue through education”, uphold the idea of “coordinating the two overall situations”, implement the differentiated development strategy, and solidify the research characteristics of “governance, strategy and thought history”, with an aim to build a strategy studies platform with significant influence at home and abroad. The School is making effort to build a first-class teaching model and improve the teaching quality, actively resonate with the national reform and opening up pattern, and persist in comprehensive reform and all-round development.  

China is now in a period where the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, we have achieved the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and are now embarking on a new journey towards the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country. At present, we are approaching the historic moment for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. The CPC has grown from a small party to the ruling party that has more than 90 million members and governs a country with a population of 1.4 billion. It has not only led the Chinese people to win the battle against poverty alleviation in the new era, putting an end to the historic issue of absolute poverty that has plagued China for thousands of years, but also pushed China’s international standing to a height unseen in the last century, enabling China to get closer to the center of the world stage. As China is working toward the 14th Five-Year Plan and Vision 2035, the School has formulated its own development strategy for the 14th Five-Year Plan period by following the Party’s leadership, guiding principles and command.

By seizing the important strategic opportunities of the profound changes unseen in a century and a new round of scientific and technological revolution, the School will deepen discipline characteristics, emphasize discipline quality, and promote discipline development; will understand and follow the law of development and carry forward the struggling spirit; and will accurately recognize changes, respond to changes scientifically, and actively seek changes, so as to identify opportunities in crises and break new ground amidst changes. The School will timely adjust its own development strategy in light of the domestic and international situations, in an effort to offer the Party and country advice on strategic decisions, help Tongji grow into a first-class university, and foster top talents specialized in politics and foreign affairs.

On the basis of the mission of “building the School on sound institutions, prospering it through academic excellence, making it stronger through discipline development, and putting students first”, the School will further promote the reform of education and teaching system, actively integrate the “ideological and political education” into its curriculum system, and lead the new trend of course reform with “China and the World” high-quality course system construction. Besides, the School will deepen its internationalization strategy, continue to conduct talent exchange and academic discussion with world-class universities in the United States, Europe, and Japan, and actively introduce cutting-edge academic and scientific research talents returned from overseas while sending its own talents to top overseas universities for further study, in order to lay a solid foundation for nurturing patriotic versatile talents with international vision, political aspiration and strong skills for the country.

We are striving to make a difference in an enterprising age, we are proud to be engaged in the noble cause of education, and we are concentrating on imparting and acquiring knowledge in the city’s hustle and bustle. Thank you all for supporting us and helping each other. “A single tree does not make a forest.” The prosperity of the School is inseparable from you who stay true to your original aspiration and your commitment to the society. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome you to come back home often. I hope that we at SPSIR will ride the wind and waves together as our country is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC!

Thank you!