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RDCY holds lecture on “China’s B&R studies and the theories of global Silk Road schools”
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2018-06-07
  On June 1st, a lecture on “ China’s Belt and Road (B&R) studies and the theories of global Silk Road schools ” was held at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY). Professor Ma Lirong, director of Institute of Silk Road Strategy Studies of Shanghai International Studies University and a senior fellow of RDCY, focused on the century-long history of the Silk Road studies and emphasized that the Silk Road studies are based on concept, theories, methods, and expressions and dominated by western countries’ discourse system.

On June 1st, a lecture on “ China’s Belt and Road (B&R) studies and the theories of global Silk Road schools ” was held at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY). Professor Ma Lirong, director of Institute of Silk Road Strategy Studies of Shanghai International Studies University and a senior fellow of RDCY, focused on the century-long history of the Silk Road studies and emphasized that the Silk Road studies are based on concept, theories, methods, and expressions and dominated by western countries’ discourse system.



She said that current disparate understandings for the B&R in western countries reflect that the Silk Road studies have entered a new phase of discourse power game. It is imminent for Chinese scholars to construct the “Belt and Road Studies”. Wang Wen, executive dean of RDCY, and Jia Wenshan, professor at the School of Journalism and Communication of Renmin University of China, participated in the discussions.


Ms. Ma first noted that the discourse system of the centurial study of Silk Road has been dominated by western countries and divided into the European School, the American School, and the Chinese School. The European school is developed and evolved under the leadership of the discourse system of "Western Centralism". The American school has more geopolitical game thoughts. The Chinese school was born in 1927, a "premature infant" born in the war. Therefore, it is theoretically "innately inadequate". This is the historical background of the general development of the Silk Road studies.


Subsequently, professor Ma described the origins of various schools. The European School can be said to be originated from a group of grave robbers and explorers, but it is undeniable that they did establish an interpretation framework for this discipline from concept to theory to method to basic discourse system, laying a solid foundation for this discipline. Hence, the European School has indeed become the pioneer of the global Silk Road studies. Based on the European School, the American School was promoted and developed by think tanks, famous experts and journals, and multinational and trans-disciplinary cooperative teams. Their research reports influenced the United States’ government’s policies on Asia, China, and Eurasia, including the attitude of the U.S. government to the "Belt and Road” Initiative. The Chinese School appeared on the occasion of the Sino-Swiss northwest scientific investigation in 1927. This event is of great significance to Chinese Silk Road studies.


Professor Ma summarized the theoretical origins of the Silk Road studies. She emphasized that the Silk Road studies and the Belt and Road studies are connected. If we want to make the B&R develop steadily and last long, we should use "Chinese thoughts" to explain the "Chinese plan." Only when Chinese scholars use their own theoretical paradigm and discourse system to had an influence on the world, may the B&R acquire more international recognition. Therefore, the B&R has the dual effects of driving the transformation of the global Silk Road studies and the revitalization of China’s Silk Road studies.


Jia Wenshan emphasized that the research of B&R was rooted in the profound Chinese thoughts. Judging from the progress of the past five years, the B&R is a necessary way to promote a new type of globalization and build a community of shared future for mankind.


Wang Wen concluded that the history has not yet ended and only just begun. The awakening of countries, peoples, and nations, as well as the political awareness of the emerging countries, have just begun. As scholars, we should use our thoughts to influence the world and gradually reshape and tell the stories of human history, reality, and the future.


    关键词: Belt  and  Road;  Silk  Road;  history;  Ma  Lirong  

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