China Center for Economic Research (CCER) witnessed the inauguration for the National School of Development at Peking University in the afternoon on October 25th. About forty honored guests home and abroad and hundreds of CCER schoolfellows attended this opening ceremony including Zhang Mao the Vice-director of National Development and Reform Commission, Guo Xiangyuan the Vice-Minister in Ministry of Education, Lin Yifu Vice-president of World Bank, presiding economist and also the former Director of CCER, Xu Zhihong the president of Peking University, Wu Zhipan the vice-secretary of party standing committee in Peking University, Zhang Guoyou vice-president of Peking University, Ross Garnaut professor of the Australian National University and the counselor of Australian prime minister, etc.
The National School of Development at Peking University - a scientific research and educational institution focusing on the comprehensive study of social sciences - has recently been established, based on the prestigious CCER. This new organization is committed to the internationalization, standardization and localization of the study of the social sciences in China, and to the innovation in disciplinary systems, academic perspectives and research methods. CCER will still be operating as a subsidiary of the National School of Development at Peking University.
History remembers the grandiloquence of Lin Yifu who was the director of CCER fourteen years ago, that is, “The next century will belong to the Chinese economists”. It has been practice of fourteen years since Lin and his fellows considered it as the striving target for CCER while others viewed it merely as the congratulation. In the duration, CCER has taken up with the research on the transformation of Chinese Economy and has merged the ideal of “Develop our society by strengthening the economy” into our focus on the Reform of China. On one hand, CCER unswervingly drives the social advancement and ethical prosperity in the academic circumstances with liberty and opening; on the other hand, CCER persists in the abundance of academic and education performances to exert its social function in more fargoing aspects. At present, CCER has embraced another development opportunity under the new historic conditions.
China is well on its way to joining the group of developed countries by the middle of this century. To this end, it will definitely be undertaking further reforms in economic, political, social and cultural areas. There is no doubt that China will have an increasingly important role in the world. In this evolutionary process, China will inevitably be confronted with many challenges. To view a society from a single disciplinary perspective enjoys the advantage of being more specialized and precise. However, such an approach may fail to raise significant questions that might emerge in the modernization process, and, even more importantly, be inadequate in judging critical issues comprehensively. Therefore, China’s social sciences need to go beyond a narrow specialization and disciplinary foundation, and establish an open, cross-disciplinary, multi-perspective platform on the basis of which there can be debates and discussions, effective communication with interested parties, and the inspiration and creation of cooperative research, so as to realize the aggregation of knowledge at a higher level.
Being a comprehensive university which has achieved a high reputation both at home and abroad, Peking University boasts a great variety of subjects and cultivates a strong intellectual atmosphere and tradition, which lay a solid foundation for cross-disciplinary study. The National School of Development at Peking University will devote itself to pushing forward the comprehensive study of the social sciences in China; to making a meaningful attempt to organize cross-disciplinary research; and to grooming well-rounded talent to serve both China’s reform and development and the setting-up of the new world order as well as exploration and discovery in social sciences more generally. This comprises an important part of Peking University’s goal to establish itself as one of the world’s top universities in the new era.
The National School of Development at Peking University will set national development as its core research domain, and will foresightedly raise important issues in terms of strategies, institutions, policies and fundamental theories required for China’s continuing reform, development and modernization. It will keep a constant close watch on patterns evolving globally and will participate in high-level dialogue on matters of reform and development and the setting-up of the new world order. The National School of Development at Peking University will follow the principle of “Small Organization, Big Network” in organizing broadly-based, cross-disciplinary study, cultivating well-rounded talent and building itself as a leading think tank in the academic community in China.