Scholars and Experts discussed China’s Role in Global History

2015-12-09

The “Voyages, Migration and the Maritime Silk Road: An International Symposium on China’s Role in Global History”, which focused on a variety of issues on China’s role in global history that have generated worldwide scholarly interest, was held on campus from 7 to 8 December 2015. Around 70 scholars from well-known academic institutions in North America, Europe and Asia attended as presenters, panel chairs, and discussants. The Symposium also attracted a large audience from the local scholarly community. Besides, over 40 papers were presented at the Symposium and selected papers will be published in an edited volume.

Officiating at the opening ceremony on 7 December 2015 were Prof. Roland T Chin, President and Vice-Chancellor, HKBU; Prof. Adrian J. Bailey, Dean of Social Sciences Faculty, HKBU; Prof. Yue-him Tam, Conference Chair, Macalester College; Prof. Clara Wing-chung Ho, Head of History Department, HKBU; Prof. Ricardo King-sang Mak, Director of Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies, HKBU; Prof. Chen Zhi, Director of Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, HKBU; Prof. Chen Duoyou, Dean of Faculty of Asian Languages and Cultures, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies; Ms. Sulia Chan, President of Zheng He Society of New York; Prof. Jeff Chin-yi Lai, President of Chinese Cheng Ho Society; and Prof. Zhang Hongsheng, Director of Mr. Simon Suen and Mrs. Mary Suen Sino-Humanitas Institute.

Three distinguished scholars, Prof. Valerie Hansen of the Yale University, Prof. Chen Kuo-tung of the Academia Sinica, and Prof. Haneda Masashi of the University of Tokyo, delivered the keynote speeches on “The World in the Year 1000: The View from Beijing”, “The Advantageous Position of Chinese Navigators during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (15-18 Centuries)” and “World/Global History and the Positionality of Historians” respectively. During the keynote session and the 9 panels, participants addressed diverse issues, such as communication between early China and the world, geographical explorations, Zheng He’s voyages and their global impact, migration and the Chinese Diasporas, the Maritime Silk Road and China’s maritime power as well as the relation of China and the world.

The Symposium was jointly organised by the History Department, Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies, Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology, HKBU; the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies; Zheng He Society of New York; sponsored by the HKBU’s Office of the President and Vice-Chancellor as well as Jao Tsung-I Academy of Sinology – Amway Development Fund, and co-sponsored by the International Zheng He Society, the Chinese Cheng Ho Society and the Mr. Simon Suen and Mrs. Mary Suen Sino-Humanitas Institute.