, Shanghai, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Scholars who have won the Contribution Award for Chinese Studies: Understanding China is an unprecedented and urgent need

Chinanews reporter Li Shuzheng

"This is probably an honor that I could not have foreseen 50 years ago when I first embarked on the road of studying China as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto." Timothy James Brook, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and one of the leading figures in the field of Western sinology, has just received the 2023 China Studies Contribution Award. In his acceptance speech, he said:

At the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Forum of the World Conference on Chinese Studies held on the 24th, the winners of the 2023 China Studies Contribution Award were announced. Including Bu Zhengmin, Professor Emeritus Bai Yong-seo of Yonsei University in South Korea, and Ma Kaishuo, Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Asian Studies of the National University of Singapore, received the award.

Established in 2010, the World Award for Contribution to China Studies is the highest award in international China Studies. In their acceptance speeches, the three scholars unanimously said that learning about China was both out of interest and out of urgent need.

"Nothing in my personal life history compelled me to think about China." Bu Zhengmin said that at that time, his family had no relationship with China, and there were no Chinese in his circle of close friends, and his interest in China was accidental.

But Bu Zhengmin stressed that no interest is purely personal or accidental. "In the early 20s of the 70th century, with the rise of global consciousness, the post-war world order gradually collapsed. Our generation has come to believe that no single cultural tradition is sufficient to meet the economic, political, and environmental challenges facing the world; A new world order that does not depend on racism or nationalism will emerge. With this in mind, he set his sights on China.

"In the early 20s of the 70th century, the main reason why I became interested in China when I was in South Korea was that I wanted to reflect on South Korea by learning from China." In his acceptance speech, Bai Yongrui said.

After the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea in 1992, he began to advocate "East Asian discourse" and studied Chinese history and reality from an East Asian perspective.

"At present, we can all feel that the situation of the global turning point has arrived, but there will be many compound crises with uncertainties in the future." Bai Yongrui said that it is urgent to fundamentally think about the limitations of the capitalist world system, and to explore the possibility of a civilizational transition.

"I hope that many countries and societies, including China and South Korea, will respect each other's ideas and life experiences as they move towards 'another universal civilization.'" Bai Yongrui said.

"I've been working hard to promote a global understanding of China, and it's a great honor to be recognized." In a recorded video message, Mr. Ma said that in the global community, especially in the West, there is an unprecedented and urgent need to improve understanding of China, "and in fact, China is willing to work with the United States and other global powers to solve pressing global challenges."

Today's humanity is a "community with a shared future", which should be seen as a great opportunity for humanity to create a better world, Ma said. (ENDS)