Thanks to the trust of my colleagues at the National School of Development of Peking University, I succeeded Professor Zhou Qiren on November 20, 2012 as the third dean of the National School of Development. I would first, at this time, like to express my sincere thanks to my predecessors, Lin Yifu and Zhou Qiren, who worked immensely to achieve a progress that would be a long-term development, laying a solid foundation for the future. Thanks are due, as well, to Mr. Wu Hemao and Mr. Lu Feng, the two former Vice Presidents of the school, for a dedicated contribution during their tenure. Thank you to Mr. Hu Dayuan, who is willing to stay on as Vice President. He truly is one of the unsung heroes in this Academy. Thank you also to Mr. Yaohui Zhao and Mr. Zhang Li for joining this new team.
There is no doubt, that the next five to ten years will be the future of the National School of Development. After nearly two decades of evolution and progress, the National Development Institute has accumulated a strong advantage with the emergence of well-known scholars such as Lin Yifu, Zhou Qi Ren, Hai Wen, Yi Gang, Song Guoqing, and Zeng Yi. Their influence domestically and abroad, is the National School of Development’s invaluable resource. With their full support, the National School of Development will be able to step onto a new plane. With regards to the university, Zhu Shanlu, the Party secretary of Peking University, has proposed the idea of three “50 years” (Peking University was founded in 1898, so three “50 years” are the three time periods of 1899-1948, 1949-1998, and 1999-2048); the third 50 year segment from 1999 to 2048, will be the 50 year period for Peking University to become a world-class university. The National School of Development will actively participate in this process, making its own contribution to the creation of the “Peking University School of Thought”.
The goal of the National School of Development in the future is to build a world-class interdisciplinary research and teaching institution of economics, as well as a world-renowned think tank. The 18th CPC National Congress proposed the National Income Doubling Plan, therefore, after 10 years, China is due to become a high-income country. However, the problem China is facing will no longer be a simple problem of economic growth, but rather how to adequately coordinate the developments of the economy, society, and politics, among other aspects. The National School of Development is positioned to respond to this transition. In fact, the school has done a lot of work in interdisciplinary research and on policy advice. Our team is comprised of not only economists, but also management scientists and demographers. Many professors here are involved directly or indirectly in the work of policy advice for the government. The abundant scientific research and academic talents accumulated during the past two decades by the National School of Development has laid a solid foundation for the realization of these goals.
In the future, I will focus on creating an open, inclusive and realistic atmosphere for research and work in the National School of Development. Opening up to the world means to embrace all talented persons without any restraint, ignoring their personal convictions and politics in favour of the most important aspect, their ability to contribute to progress and development. The talent of our academics is the foundation upon which the academic institution can continue to grow and succeed. The only criterion in attracting these new talents will be academic achievement and potential. An inclusion and tolerance of different views and thinkers will adhere to the ancient tradition of Peking University, a tradition of creating a constructive space where harmony as well as varied philosophies can come together in Lang Run Garden (the location of the National School of Development). We will not exclude anyone from the academic community because of a difference in academic or political views. Pragmatism is to walk the line between high-profile work and a low-key personal life. This is the tradition of not only Peking University, but also of Lang Run Garden.
I believe that as long as we take an open, inclusive and realistic attitude while working together, the National School of Development will be able to create a new era in Economics, marking a new chapter, and making a significant contribution to the prosperity of the country and progress of society. This will be one of the aspects taking Peking University into the next generation as a world-class university.
Dean of the National School of Development of Peking University