China News Service, Shanghai, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Why is the right time for China Studies in the world?

Author: Xu Huangguan, Han Yu, Wen Longjie

On November 11, the World Conference on Chinese Studies (WCS) Shanghai Forum opened in Shanghai, China, where more than 24 experts and scholars from all over the world gathered in Huangpu Riverside to discuss Chinese civilization and China's path from a global perspective. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter, hoping that experts and scholars from all over the world would be ambassadors of Chinese and foreign civilizations, uphold inclusiveness, openness and inclusiveness, continue to promote the study of China studies in the world, promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and inject ideological and cultural strength into the prosperity of the garden of world civilizations.

Video: The World Federation of China Studies announced its official establishment in ShanghaiSource: China News Network

Analysts pointed out that under the changes in a century, it is of far-reaching significance to mark the paradigm of world Chinese studies.

As a discipline with China as the object of study, the world's China studies has its origins. In the 13th century, the Italian traveler Marco Polo embarked on a journey to discover the East, and his travelogues became an important source for Western research on China. Subsequently, from Matteo Ricci's visit to China to the establishment of the chair of Sinology at the Académie de France in 1814, the world's enthusiasm for Chinese studies continued unabated for hundreds of years, forming a European paradigm of Sinology that mainly studied traditional Chinese classical culture. In the middle of the 20th century, American scholars began to introduce social science methods to analyze modern and contemporary China, and this pragmatic paradigm of Chinese studies became the mainstream for a time.

In June 2018, foreign volunteers from 6 countries and regions, including Australia, Thailand, the Netherlands, and Thailand, formed the "Contemporary Marco Polo Mission" to revisit the Grand Canal in Hangzhou. The picture shows the contemporary Marco Polo mission on the bank of the Gongchen Bridge. Photo by Zhang Yin

From the perspective of academic history, the countries with high achievements and greater influence in Chinese studies, from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands to the United States, have almost been listed among the world's great powers since the 18th century, and their strong academic discourse has often formed a trend of coercion or even crushing. Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and other places have unique research perspectives and rich academic deposits, which have become neglected "non-mainstream"; As the core of Chinese studies, China has become an objectified subject and has been absent for a long time. "Each speaks his own way" and "one-way indoctrination" have given rise to myths and disagreements, and have also retarded the development of Chinese studies.

Thomas Kuhn, a famous American philosopher of science, proposed that the essence of the "scientific revolution" is, in a word, a "paradigm shift". Wang Guowei proposed in the preface to his "Examination of Song and Yuan Opera" that "every generation has a generation of literature", and the iterations of Chu Sao, Han Fu, Six Dynasties of Puyu, Tang poetry, Song Ci, and Yuan opera can be regarded as a paradigm shift.

The picture shows the sculpture in Du Fu's thatched cottage. Photo/Visual China

The paradigm shift stems from the transformation of historical and objective conditions. As Marx emphasized, "people make their own history, but they do not create it as they please, not under conditions of their own choosing, but under conditions that they encounter directly, that they have established, that have been inherited from the past".

Today, the world is undergoing major changes unprecedented in a century, and the Chinese people are walking on the journey of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Keith Ma, Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, pointed out that one of the most important tasks in the world today is to promote a deeper understanding of China; Shi Hanwei, professor emeritus of Oriental literature and culture at the University of Göttingen, said that Europeans should learn from China today, just as China learns from Europe; Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desaleni pointed out that Chinese studies in Africa are growing; Bai Yongrui, professor emeritus of Yonsei University in South Korea, believes that Chinese studies in all countries, including China, need more mutual reference and reference today.

China is changing, the world is changing, and the paradigm of Chinese studies is naturally changing. In 2004, World China Studies was proposed at the first World Forum on China Studies, which advocated the promotion of exchanges and dialogues on China studies around the world on the basis of grasping the trends of China studies around the world and re-studying them, which has become a new paradigm of China studies.

On the evening of October 2023, 10, the 30th "Chinese Bridge" World Chinese Competition for Middle School Students and the <>rd "Chinese Bridge" World Primary School Students Chinese Show Finals and Award Ceremony were held in Kunming. The picture shows the contestants taking the stage collectively. Photo by China News Service reporter Liu Ranyang

Sinology is the study of historical China and the study of contemporary China. World Sinology has come from history, extracted the essence of traditional Chinese studies, extensively absorbed excellent achievements from all over the world, reaffirmed China's dominant position, called for exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and made Chinese studies a platform for academic exchanges, mutual learning among civilizations, and cultural integration.

World China Studies focuses on the connection between history and the present, tracing from contemporary China to historical China, and then understanding and identifying contemporary China from historical sources and cultural foundations. Focusing on China studies as a link, we will promote dialogue and exchanges between research subjects from China, Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Latin America and other regions. More attention should be paid to the global significance of Chinese studies, promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and inject ideological and cultural strength into the prosperity of the garden of world civilizations.

From Marco Polo's travels, European Sinology, American Sinology, to today's World Sinology, from "monologue" and "dialogue" to "common talk", from the perspective of the history of world civilization exchanges, to promote and mark the paradigm of world Sinology, it is an excellent portrayal of the world's "transcending the estrangement of civilizations, mutual learning of civilizations beyond the clash of civilizations, and inclusiveness of civilizations beyond the superiority of civilizations, and working together to promote the progress of human civilization". (ENDS)