The unveiling ceremony of the Secretariat and releasing of the written proposal of the University Consortium of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (UCMSR) took place in the Science and Art Center of Xiamen University.
All delegates unveiled the nameplate of the Secretariat together.
Those present at the ceremony included representatives from 12 Chinese universities, such as Xiamen University, Nanjing University, Shandong University, China Agriculture University and Chinese University of Petroleum, etc.. They were joined by representatives from 6 overseas universities, including Victoria University of Wellington, Middle East Technical University, Kasetsart University, University of Dayton, University of Peradeniya, and Tarumanagara University.
WU Daguang，Vice President of Xiamen University, delivers welcoming address
Professor WU Daguang gave a warm welcome to all the delegates.
“Xiamen University, located at the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, possesses geographical advantages for initiating UCMSR. The establishment of Xiamen University Malaysia Campus also coincides with the government's initiatives of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” he said.
The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the “Road”) often appears in conjunction with Silk Road Economic Belt (the “Belt”). Together they are known as “One Belt, One Road” (“OBOR”), an initiative launched by the Chinese government in 2013.
“Xiamen University will keep expanding and deepening the cooperation with the universities along the Maritime Silk Road regions. I hope that the Consortium will be the pioneer for the Maritime Silk Road Initiatives,” he added.
ZENG Nengjian, Deputy Head of the Education Department of Fujian Province, delivers opening address
Mr. ZENG Nengjian welcomed the launch of the Secretariat on behalf of the Education Department of Fujian Province. The Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) and Fujian Government had signed International Cooperation Memorandums of OBOR Education Initiative in 2016, aiming to enlarge the scale and scope of educational cooperation between Fujian Province and OBOR Initiatives countries. Mr. ZENG said his department will continue supporting the cooperation and exchange between Fujian universities and overseas institutions that will foster innovative development.
Dr. Tony Browne from the Victoria University of Wellington delivers an address on behalf of participating institutions
Dr. Tony Browne, Executive Chair of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, reviewed the history of cooperation between Xiamen University and Victoria University of Wellington. He said the higher education institutions along the Road routes should value the opportunities that the Maritime Silk Road Initiatives brings, strengthen their connections and the sharing of resources, and deepen exchanges in academia and research.
ZOUYajun, Vice President of Nanjing University, delivers an address on behalf of participating institutions
“Nanjing University will continue facilitating the collaborations with the member universities of UCMSR,” said Prof. ZOU Yajun, Vice-President of Nanjing University, who also shared their experience on how to implement OBOR Initiatives.
LIAO Shaolian from Xiamen University School of International Relations gives a keynote speech on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road
In his keynote speech, Prof. LIAO Shaolian introduced the silk road of different historical period. He also examined the key constraints on future educational cooperation along the Road.
Lastly, the delegates had an open discussion around fund-raising, forms of exchange and preparation work of the Consortium. The Secretariat then formally announced the proposal of the University Consortium of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
*The University Consortium of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (UCMSR) is proposed by Xiamen University, together with other top higher education institutions in the Maritime Silk Road regions. It will develop a comprehensive platform where institutions can cooperate under the OBOR and facilitate exchange and cooperation in areas of intercollegiate communication, talent cultivation, research collaboration, cultural exchange, policy study and social services. It is also dedicated to nurturing talents with a global perspective and strengthening the understanding and friendship among member universities so as to secure common development.
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