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International Symposium on "Social Governance & Social Welfare from a Comparative Perspective" held

NOV . 30 2021
Peking University, November 30, 2021: On November 19, 2021, the International Symposium on "Social Governance and Social Welfare from a Comparative Perspective"jointly organized by Peking University (PKU) Institute of State Governance Studies (ISGS) and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) was held online. 22 experts, scholars and heads of institutions from China and the United States gave keynote speeches. Due to the time zone difference between the two parties, this seminar was held in two time periods, 9:00-12:00 in the morning and 21:00-00:30 in the evening, Beijing time.

Prof. Merit Janow

The opening ceremony of the seminar and the first keynote speech were hosted by Professor Sun Zhe, co-director of Columbia SIPA. Professor Merit Janow, dean of Columbia SIPA, and Professor Yan Jirong, dean of the PKU School of Government, delivered speeches respectively. They believe that this conference will provide a platform for experts and scholars of the two countries to conduct comprehensive discussions and deepen mutual understanding.

Prof. Yan Jirong

Professor William B. Eimicke, founding director of the Picker Center for Executive Education of Columbia SIPA, delivered the first keynote speech. As a founder, firm supporter and active participant of cooperation between SIPA and ISGS, Professor William expressed his hope to continue to promote exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, and provided a comprehensive analysis of domestic policies of the Biden administration. He believes that the economic relationship between China and the United States will remain interdependent, that the Biden administration acknowledges China’s fast growth rate, and will face up to domestic issues and undertake policies to meet the challenges. After his speech, other scholars also put forward their views and opinions.

The meeting in the evening was hosted by Professor Tian Kai, vice president of the PKU National Governance Institute.

Professor Ju Hua from the PKU ISGS took "Coordinators in Grassroots Governance: Legitimization and Rationality" as her topic, and analysed the current status of important non-staff group "coordinators" in China's grassroots governance. Other scholars touched on pertinent topics concerning governance in China and the United States, like the housing affordability plans of the Biden administration and the development of Chinese social organizations since 1979.

After the presentations, Professor Sun Zhe, co-director of the China Initiative at Columbia University and Professor Wang Puqu, dean of PKU ISGS, delivered closing speeches.

Sun Zhe believes that the theme of this conference is practical and timely. At present, both China and the United States are facing the problems of restoring economic and social development and ensuring people’s livelihood in the post-pandemic period. It is believed that discussions of various governance issues can help optimize the development of the Sino-U.S. relationship from different aspects and perspectives.

Wang Puqu pointed out that symposiums between Peking University and Columbia University have produced fruitful academic results in the past six years. He hopes that this symposium can continue to deepen the understanding between the two universities and the scholars of the two countries. He expressed gratitude to Professor Merit Janow and Professor Sun Zhe, and looks forward to holding offline meetings after the pandemic.

Group Photo
Written by: Lean Zhi Xuan
Edited by: Li Wanqi
Source: PKU News (