Message from the Programme Director
Professor LI Lianjiang
China is a mystery. The more one knows about the country, its geography, history, culture, economy, society and politics, the more one is fascinated and even bewildered by its countless paradoxes: vast yet overpopulated, old yet young, diverse but singular, vibrant and mindless, compliant yet robust, capricious but patterned, and so on and so on. Each generation of world citizens is obliged to learn and wonder about the country, to reflect on its immediate or distant significance and to contribute to its promising future in one way or another. Young people of Chinese origins, in particular, are destined to, at least during a certain period of time in their lives, to observe and think about the country, from far or near, inside or out, with a light or heavy heart.
Our program is uniquely designed to serve such inspired and hopeful individuals, who wisely and bravely set aside one year of their vibrant youth to develop an in-depth knowledge, multi-faceted understandings and well-grounded intuitions about China. The program is an observatory as well as a podium. Professors and lecturers are of different trainings, persuasions and perspectives but share common interests, concerns and values; students come from different backgrounds but pursue a common goal of self-enrichment; teachers and students are connected rather than separated in lecture halls, despite the unfriendly pedagogical settings. Our program offers knowledgeable and thoughtful experts for students who feel like consulting, effective coaches and fair referees for those who aspire to sharpen their thinking and debating techniques as well as uniquely interesting individuals for those who enjoy mingling and socializing. In short, the program promises a club for everybody to talk, laugh and grow together.
The strength of humanity lies ultimately in the strength of each individual human being and each independent human community. Each individual has a fair share of responsibility to create and develop the common good of humanity. In return, each individual deserves a fair opportunity to develop his or her intellect and spirit, to make a fulfilling career, and to live a worthwhile life. Our program is about Greater China. Its mission is to make every one of its participants greater, thereby making Greater China even greater and making the world an even greater place for all human beings.