On the afternoon of November 15, 2019, the Foundation of Chinese Culture for Sustainable Development and the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University (TUSDG) jointly held "Meet SDGs" High-End Forum No. 8 - Chinese Culture and Sustainable Development in the Auditorium Hall of the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University (SPPM).
Dr. Liu Chao-Shiuan, Former President of National Tsing Hua University and Chairman of Foundation of Chinese Culture for Sustainable Development, delivered a speech entitled "Sustainable Development Index with Chinese Culture as the Core Thinking". Hu An’gang, Dean of the Institute for Contemporary China Studies and professor of SPPM, delivered a speech entitled "Chinese Green Development Goals and Practices - Three-Year Evaluation of National 13th Five-Year Plan". Yun-han Chu, Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Academia Sinica and professor of political science at National Taiwan University, delivered a speech entitled “Wang Dao and China's International Responsibility ". Wu Hongbo, the special representative of the Chinese government for European Affairs, Co-Director of TUSDG and Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, delivered the welcome remark. Zhu Xufeng, Professor and Associate Dean of SPPM, Executive Director of TUSDG, chaired the forum. Lin Chu-chia, Distinguished Professor of the Department of Economics of the National Chengchi University and Former Special Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, Yeh Shin-cheng, Professor of the Graduate Institute of Environmental Education of the National Taiwan Normal University and Minister without Portfolio of the “Executive Yuan”, Associate Professor Tong Hanpu, and Assistant Professor Guo Mingjie of the Department of Political Science of the National Taiwan University, Lu Zhi’an, Secretary of the Foundation of Chinese Culture for Sustainable Development, Professor Pan Jie and Associate Professor Zheng Zhenqing of SPPM joined the event, as well as hundreds of visitors attended the forum.
Wu Hongbo delivered a welcome remark
Wu Hongbo extended a warm welcome to Liu Chao-Shiuan's delegation in his remark. He pointed out that the core meaning of traditional Chinese culture is highly consistent with the definition of sustainable development in the report of "Our Common Future" of the United Nations in 1987. At the same time, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development of the United Nations and its 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are deeply connected with the "Community of Human Destiny" and the Chinese cultural concept behind it. He mentioned that Chinese culture would make a historic contribution to the construction of a community with a shared future for humankind, and expressed his expectation for experts from both sides to share their views on Chinese culture and sustainable development.
Liu Chao-Shiuan during his speech
Liu Chao-Shiuan introduced in detail the research results of the "Wang Dao Sustainability Index" (WDSI), created by his research team. Starting from the Brundtland Report, which defines sustainable development, it emphasizes that culture is the important foundation of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic development, social progress and environmental protection). Later, he put forward the concept of the "Wang Dao" in Chinese Confucianism - "the opposite of hegemony". This concept is exactly what the western countries lack, but it is highly consistent with the concept of sustainable development. The “five concepts” of WDSI - benevolence, anti-hegemony, people-oriented, sustainable growth, and empathy - come from the representative one of the traditional thoughts of governance in Chinese culture, which was transferred into three areas of global ethics: inclusive development and environmental balance. By setting 11 categories and 64 indicators, the sustainable development of 74 economies in the world was evaluated and ranked. The WDSI includes 64 component indices ascribed to 3 domains and 11 dimensions. Based on this system of indices, this work collects relevant data and initially undertakes a systematic measurement and evaluation of the sustainable development status of 74 representative economies.
Hu An’gang delivers the speech
Hu An’gang stressed that China, as a late developing country, has made great contributions to the SDGs. In particular, the combination of China's 13th Five-Year Plan and the SDGs shows that China and the world have the same development direction. In terms of implementation, China's economic and social development in the first three years of the 13th Five-Year Plan performed well, and the three-year completion rate of binding indicators and expected indicators is relatively high. He pointed out that the biggest challenge for China to implement the SDGs in the future lies in how to make carbon emissions reach the peak platform period as soon as possible and the subsequent decline period. This will be the greatest contribution to human society.
Yun-han Chu delivers the speech
Yun-han Chu recalled Sun Yat-Sen's belief that China will one day return to the group of advanced countries and make great contributions to human history in the era when the powers were separated and weak. At that time, Sun Yat-Sen adhered to the "Wang Dao" thought. After the Bretton Woods Conference, in the process of rebuilding the post-war international economic order, China showed great concern for the community of shared future for humankind; more specifically, the assistance to underdeveloped countries also embodies the inner meaning of "Wang Dao". Looking forward into the future, with reference to the guidance of history and culture, China still has great potential in promoting modernization in the 21st century, cooperating with other countries to get rid of poverty, and putting forward new discussions on global ethics.
Zhu Xufeng chairs the forum
In the Dialogue(From left to right, Zhu Xufeng, Liu Chao-Shiuan, Yun-han Chu and Hu An’gang)
Three speakers had an in-depth dialogue on the main theme of the forum, and answered the questions raised by the audience about the indicators - at both global and individual dimensions, and the promotion of Chinese culture and the reaction of western culture. Hu An’gang pointed out that the 13th Five-Year Plan actually covers the whole production cycle and development process of China society, and the current experience will be further promoted during the 14th Five-Year Plan period. Yun-han Chu and Liu Chao-Shiuan pointed out that Chinese culture has universal values, and from a cultural point of view, Chinese culture can be accepted by all countries to undertake more responsibilities.
In the end, Wu Hongbo, on behalf of TUSDG thanked Liu Chao-Shiuan for his delegation's visit to Tsinghua, as well as the attendees of the event.