Huaqiao University – A think tank for 'One Belt, One Road' strategy

Huaqiao University Photo: Internet 

The Institute of Maritime Silk Road of Huaqiao University will serve as the think tank for the construction of the "One Belt, One Road", Jia Yimin, the president of the university, said in an interview with recently.

The Institute was started in March 2014 with the aim to promote the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road under the joint efforts of the leaders from political, business and academic sectors.

The following are the highlights of the interview with Jia:

Main research areas of the Institute of Maritime Silk Road of Huaqiao University and the achievements made so far

There are three research centers in the Institute of Maritime Silk Road - economic strategy research center, international politics research center, and cultural exchange and communication research center, in which the studies will be conducted at three levels. At the national level, the studies will involve theoretical and practical issues in terms of macro policy and implementation strategy of the "One Belt, One Road" strategy. Regionally, the studies will focus on the important geographic role of Fujian province, in particular Xiamen and Quanzhou, in promoting the construction of the "One Belt, One Road", and pushing Taiwan's participation into this project. In terms of the overseas Chinese, the studies will focus on the involvement of overseas Chinese in the construction of the "One Belt, One Road", and the industrial transformation and globalization of the overseas Chinese zones in China.

The Institution will also step up cooperation with prestigious international research organizations, such as the Institute of East Asia Study of the National University of Singapore and the National Research Council of Thailand. The cooperation with Malaysia is underway.

At the same time, Huaqiao University will conduct a series of surveys concerning the needs of the neighboring countries in the "One Belt, One Road" strategy so as to have a discussion on the ways of cooperation, the results of which will be handed over to the Chinese government and related companies. The surveys will also try to figure out which areas overseas Chinese businessmen are interested in joining during the process of building the "One Belt, One Road", such as navigation, oceanic cooperation, port construction, transportation and so on.

Advantages of the research on Maritime Silk Road at Huaqiao University compared with other universities and academic institutions

Firstly, established in 1960, Huaqiao University has cultivated more than 50,000 overseas students, most of who come from south-eastern countries located alone the maritime Silk Road.

Secondly, the university has set up admissions offices in countries of Southeast Asia, East Asia, Europe, America, Oceania, and Central South America, which are closely tied to overseas Chinese community.

Thirdly, the university has published several studies on overseas Chinese issues, which helps deepen the understanding on economic, political, social, cultural and business issues of overseas Chinese.

Fourthly, the university has developed several platforms to have a broader cultural exchange and communication with neighboring countries in "One Belt, One Road" zone, which includes Chinese language classes for foreign officials, China-Thailand strategic forum, Maritime Silk Road summit, as well as international Chinese teaching forum.

Fifthly, as Quanzhou and Xiamen of Fujian province are not only the areas associated with overseas Chinese, but also the starting point and important parts of the ancient Maritime Silk Road as well as the free trade zone under the "One Belt, One Road" strategy, the location of Huaqiao University in this area facilitates the study of Maritime Silk Road.

Positive effects of a university's involvement in the Maritime Silk Road on the implementation of "One Belt, One Road" strategy

As the construction of the "One Belt, One Road" is related to many issues, it is necessary to establish several think tanks and provide consultation to the government and companies through the study of critical theoretical and practical problems. While there are both historical and realistic obligations for a university to join the study of the "One Belt, One Road" policy, these obligations are also linked with the four functions of a university including talent training, scientific study, social service, and culture inheritance, which helps facilitate the study of the "One Belt, One Road" policy.

On curriculum plan and teaching arrangement

On the one hand, specialization and talent training system will be reformed and completed in accordance with the requirement of the construction of the "One Belt, One Road"; on the other hand, an on-demand talent training system will be set up to meet the needs of the "One Belt, One Road" policy. The university now is preparing to set up the Arabian major, which will also be tied with other majors such as finance, trade, tourism and so on.

In addition, the university is preparing several substantial trainings for the countries in Maritime Silk Road zone. Besides the current Chinese language training class for foreign officials from these countries, there should also be training classes on other topics, such as trade and economy, industry, technology, culture, education, tourism and so on. The training course could be held in the university or overseas and can be temporary or regular.

Students, both undergraduates and post-graduates, in Huaqiao University are highly motivated to join the study of the "One Belt, One Road" policy by voluntarily taking part in academic forums, conferences, cultural activities and research. The students of Huaqiao University are indispensable parts in the study and construction of "One Belt, One Road".

(The article is translated and edited by Chunmei)

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