Peking University, Dec. 26, 2018: In recognition of their contributions over the past 40 years since the reform and opening-up, 11 PKUers, including faculty members and alumni, were awarded the title of “Pioneer of China’s Reform and Opening-up”. On the morning of December 19, Peking University was privileged to invite some of them to talk about their experiences.
At the gathering
PKU President Hao Ping delivered an address at the outset, reviewing the key points of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech given at the Great Hall of the People on December 18. Hao also extended his heartfelt gratitude to those pioneers and encouraged students and staff to take the lead in achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Hao Ping delivering an address
Some of the PKU’s “Pioneers of China’s reform and Opening-up” awardees and their family members then began to share their observations.
Professor Li Yining, who advocates the reform of China’s economic system, is among the 11 pioneers. In his address, Li shared his insights regarding the policy of reform and opening-up, and offered advice on how China will develop its economy in the years to come.
Professor Hu Fuming, another pioneer as well as an iconic figure in the influential discussion of the standard of truth, was also present. Hu recalled the days when he studied at PKU and expressed his love for the university. He also emphasized the importance of deepening the reform and opening-up, which is thought to be conducive to China’s development in the new era.
Professor Wang Xuan, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, obtained this honorary title for his invention of laser phototypesetting of Chinese characters. Professor Chen Kunqiu, widow of Wang, looked back the time when they devoted themselves to doing research. “We had very outdated equipment initially, but everything improved significantly thanks to the policy of reform and opening-up, which paved the way for our technology transfer,” Chen recounted.
PKU alumnus Zhong Nanshan, who played an indispensable role in China’s fight against SARS in 2003, suggested that staff and students at PKU should spend more time on physical exercises and have checkups on a regular basis. “I hope this advice can be accepted,” Zhong said.
PKU alumna Fan Jinshi, who has been committed to preserving cultural relics in China’s western city of Dunhaung, highlighted that the reform and opening-up has made it possible for her to engage with practitioners and scholars from around the globe, enabling her to draw upon cutting-edge experience from developed nations.
Professor Justin Yifu Lin, whose theory of economics accelerates China’s economic transition, exclaimed that we have benefitted much from the policy of reform and opening-up, and we need to treasure this hard-earned era. “Besides, PKU enjoys an inclusive work environment where we can exchange views with others in a carefree manner, for which I am very grateful,” Lin added.
Justin Yifu Lin
PKU alumnus Zou Bihua, who spared no efforts to advance the reform of China’s judicial system, is also on the list of “Pioneer of China’s Reform and Opening-up”. Despite his death at an early age, Zou’s perseverance at work remains deep-rooted in people’s mind. On his behalf, Zou’s widow Tang Hailin elaborated on the life of Zou, hoping to pass on Zou’s spirit to the young generation.
A teacher representative and a student representative also participated in the event.
Professor Sun Qixiang pointed out that as China is becoming an education power, teachers, in addition to imparting knowledge, should also shoulder the responsibility of shaping students’ character. “Teachers’ moral will determine students’ behaviors, and the future of the Chinese nation will rest on students,” Sun emphasized.
Wang Yubo, an undergraduate from the National School of Development, reassured that PKU students will carry on the fine tradition of alumni and impress the country with more achievement.
To wrap up the gathering, Qiu Shuiping, chairman of PKU council, delivered a closing remark, stating that the past 40 years since the reform and opening-up witnessed the fastest and the greatest development of PKU throughout history, so PKUers should remain committed to deepening the reform in a bid to maintain PKU’s excellence among universities around the world.
Qiu Shuiping delivering a closing remark
Written by: Huang Weijian
Edited by: Zhang Jiang
Photo Credit to: Wang Tiantian, Liu Yueling