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Zhao Kejin (Senior Fellow of The Charhar Institute, Associate Professor of Tsinghua University)
发布时间:2015年01月09日  来源:察哈尔学会  作者:Zhao Kejin  阅读:1160

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman,


Good afternoon.

 

It is my great honor and pleasure to come to Shanghai again and to learn from the achievements of Shanghai's public diplomacy and city diplomacy. After years' of research on public diplomacy and city diplomacy in Shanghai, I would say the key of Shanghai's city diplomacy lies in its top-level design. Just as the German friend mentioned, the world nowadays is not the conventional world divided by borders. It is a world shared by all. It is a world of network. It is not the politics among nations, but among networks. International relations are more and more of interpersonal relations of different cultural, religious and social background. How to deal with the problems occurring in interpersonal relations should be one focus of public diplomacy.

 

Shanghai does the best both in public diplomacy and in city diplomacy in China. From a small fishing village and a small port, Shanghai gradually developed into such an important metropolitan linking east and west today. In my opinion, there are three reasons for Shanghai's achievements:

 

Firstly, internationalization is the fundamental force for the urbanization and economic development of Shanghai. Without internationalization, Shanghai could not develop to such a high level. Looking back to the past century, it is clear that the closer Shanghai linked to the world, the greater development Shanghai enjoys. In spite of the external invasion in the last 100 years, there were still a lot of pioneering or historical events promoting the social and economic development in Shanghai. However, after the Liberalization of China, when we expelled the foreign or international institutions, no matter bad or good, out of Shanghai, we need to view the negative outcome. For instance, we expelled the UN organizations out of Shanghai, but we can see what happened. So we need to ask ourselves and criticize our conventional practices, because we have clearly seen that the prosperity of Shanghai is closely linked to the foreign relations or external communications. Therefore, since the reform and opening up, when Shanghai and the international community connected, Shanghai appeared lively again. If Shanghai hopes to have greater development in the future, it must keep the strategy of internationalization.

 

Secondly, strategic planning is the soul of Shanghai's city diplomacy. City diplomacy in Shanghai must be in accordance with the overall planning of the nation and Shanghai Municipality. Shanghai would not be able to make so many achievements without the opening up in 1990, especially the opening up and development of Pu dong District. So whenever Shanghai meets national development strategies, Shanghai's golden age comes. So, the joint of the national strategy is the inner soul of Shanghai city diplomacy.

 

Thirdly, system design is a strong pillar of Shanghai's city diplomacy. The reason why Shanghai has been able to stand ahead of other cities is that Shanghai has a large number of leaders who have a global vision. From then mayor Wang Daohan to the mayor Jiang Zemin, Zhu Rongji, and Xi Jinping, to today's Han Zheng. The internationalization level of Shanghai leaders is the highest among the national cadres. If there are no such leaders who are daring to challenge, Shanghai's city diplomacy may also very difficult to make progress. So, we should draw on the experience and lessons of history to explore the future of Shanghai's city diplomacy.

 

What problems is Shanghai currently facing? In my opinion, the main problem Shanghai city diplomacy facing today is the problem of identity. Shanghai, whether it is Shanghai citizens' Shanghai or China's Shanghai or Asia's Shanghai, or even the world's Shanghai, there would be huge space for Shanghai's development. If Shanghai is seen as Shanghai citizens' Shanghai, Shanghai city diplomacy can only be limited to Shanghai's foreign affairs. If viewed as China's Shanghai, Shanghai can represent the relationship between China and the world, and becomes an important part of China's overall diplomacy. In the 30 years of the reform and opening up, Shanghai stand in the forefront. It has born many risks and made outstanding outcome. Although Shanghai has linked with the world more closely; it has a limited discourse power and influence in Asia. It also has some distance with other cities on the number of international organizations, transnational corporations settled in Shanghai and international conference held in Shanghai, like Geneva of Europe, Nairobi of Africa, although small cities, they are global information center. Shanghai, however, is obviously insufficient at this point. Shanghai has a long way to go.

 

I would like to propose three suggestions for the top-level design of Shanghai: Firstly, Shanghai should represent China. Shanghai municipal departments should take the initiative in implementing national diplomacy. Shanghai should also establish closer relations with the Ministry of foreign affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of culture and other foreign ministries. Shanghai should look for development opportunities and space from the development strategy of the central government. Secondly, Shanghai should be more open to the world.

 

Shanghai city diplomacy should not only be carried out by the people of Shanghai, it should not only rely on Chinese. It should let the people all over the world to participate. I think, the top scholars we invited today are the important experts for Shanghai to launch its city diplomacy. We have to stimulate their enthusiasm for Shanghai's city diplomacy. Thirdly, Shanghai should be more energetic and vigorous. Shanghai's achievements are not just efforts of governments, but more by the hard work of civil societies and citizens. We should cooperate more with non-governmental organizations, such as the organizer of the forum, the Charhar Institute. They can fully participate in city diplomacy uneconomic, environmental, municipal administration, human rights, environmental protection and other issues. We can unite all forces, inspire all aspects of energy, and strive to enhance the internationalization of Shanghai.

 

Shanghai, the representative of China will be more open and more vigorous.


Thank you. 

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