The first "International Conference on Chinese Studies" was held on 8 and 9 June 2019 in Hannaneh Hall at Faculty of World Studies in Tehran University.
The opening ceremony of the conference was attended Dr. Saeed Reza Ameli, Dean of the faculty for World Studies , Dr. Behzad Shahandeh, conference academic Secretary, Dr. Jiajo Richter, Professor at the University of Vienna, Dr. Mohammad Naghizadeh, professor of international affairs at Faculty of World Studies, and Mr. Arsalan Ghorbani Sheikhneshin, professor at Khawrazmi University.
As the keynote speaker in the opening ceremony of the International Conference on Chinese Studies, Prof. Saeed Reza Ameli, welcomed the domestic and foreign guests and said: "we make our best effort to establish Chinese Studies as a field of study in the Faculty of World Studies."
"Therefore,Faculty of World Studies was established to help get a better understanding of other countries and correct false assumptions." the secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution continued.
Referring to China's potentials as well as the importance of studying the nation, the Dean of the Faculty of World Studies said: "China is the second largest economic power in the world, and China's trading market is the first in the world".
He also emphasized on the importance of Chinese Studies as a result of China being the first country in terms of landmass and the fourth country, after the US, Russia and Canada, in terms of landmass and seas.
This professor of Communications at Tehran University added: "Chinese language is also the most spoken language in the world with 1.7 billion speakers."
"After 1979, China has been reborn, opening its doors to the world, adopting new policies and refusing to repeat the experience of the Mao era," Dr. Ameli said.
"During the Mao’s reign, about 1.5 million Chinese were massacred in ideological purges. However, in the recent period, the Chinese government fostered the growth of the middle class so the middle class population reached 300 million and 400 million people were raised above poverty line," he said.
“Today, China is one of the top countries in the world for having billionaire citizens. This poses a serious challenge for China since while increasing the gap among economic deciles, it also drives economic growth."
Referring to China's most important aspect which is human capital, Dr. Ameli said: "diligence and hard work are integral parts of the Chinese culture and Chinese human resource is their most valuable capital. Any country that has enough human capital, owns everything, otherwise it has nothing."
"Another important aspect of China is its approach to globalization,” he added. Dean of Faculty of World Studies continued: "while speaking about globalization, the first country that may come to our mind is the US; but that's not true.
"Globalization is the result of transition from being limited to one stance, to multiple global stances. With regard to communications, globalization in the new era is the consequence of emergence of industry simultaneously with communication that caused all phenomena transcend local boundaries."
The secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution said: "globalization is not specific to the US and other countries can be global too, including global China, global Iran, global Japan and global India."
He added: "China is geographically extended from Africa to Asia and the Silk Road."
Dr. Ameli continued: "China has allocated $ 200 billion for reconstruction and expansion of the new Silk Road. Such development is of great importance and requires a "new management" method."
Claiming that the nations of modern world are not similar to the old nations, he said: "modern nations have become more vigilant and the normative, audience-based, and mass societies of the past have changed. The individual is becoming proactive and powerful user and actor."
He added: "This is a new challenge for all countries because enhancement of one's individuality, ability and awareness leads to taking effective actions. This may challenge the previous policies and thus the countries must seek a new model of globalization ensuring respect for individuals and nations."
Dr. Ameli continued: "When it comes to globalization, it is important to keep in mind whether we are pursuing globalization being mindful of the past or looking at it in a light."
Describing the difference between these two approaches, Dr. Ameli said: "based on the retrospective approach, globalization is the product of dominant powers and controlled by Imperialism and otherism which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and American political decline in the world."
"Today, the US president is facing widespread public protests when travelling to any country even European countries," he said.
"There is a rule in social relations stating that the more powerful the countries become, the more vulnerable they are, especially in the new societies the dominant countries are at greater risk," he continued.
Dr. Saeed Reza Ameli said: "Recognition is the basis of communication with others; this is also true about transnational, national, regional and even family communications."
He added: "what makes a society powerful is acknowledgement of ethnic and religious minorities. In the forward-looking approach we must search for a model that provides everyone a proper environment for cultural interaction, not just for all countries, but for every single person in the world. In this regard, the status of China's Muslims is very important. It should be noted that Muslims have a long history in China and the OMuslim region in China is an oil-rich region which accounts for about 80 percent of China's total oil reserves. The way the Chinese government engages Muslims is a good benchmark for multicultural management in China."
"This type of globalization is the missing link in today's world," said the secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. "China and other nations pursuing globalization must show humility and avoid being authoritarian; otherwise the world will respond more cleverly and severely compared to its reaction to the previous hegemonic systems.
"If we only speak about domination, we will not be contributing to human values. Therefore, we must seek out a new paradigm of globalization based on cooperation and mutual respect among countries around the world."
On Iran-China historical relations , Dr. Saeed Reza Ameli said: "The relations between Iran and China dates back to 115 BC, when the first Chinese envoy came to Iran for trading horses and flocks and later silk. Such travels resulted in creation of the Silk Road."
He added: "In the Pahlavi era, this relationship was subject to the US-China relations and the countries had no relations between 1949 and 1971. During this period the Pahlavi regime established relations with Taiwan."
Dr. Ameli stated that Iran and China have had the best relations in the Islamic Republic era and continued: "during this period, exports and imports value was scheduled to reach US$100 billion, and so far US$30 billion has been realized."
Dr. Ameli said: "China accounts for 20 to 25percent of imports and exports in Iran's trade balance."
In the conclusion of his Address, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution remarked: "The good relations between Iran and China as well as their common approach in international relations which is opposition to the system of domination, form good political ties."
In conclusion, Dr. Ameli said: "I hope this conference enables us to set up a think tank and a graduate course for Chinese Studies in the Faculty of World Studies with the help of Iranian and Chinese thinkers as well as the Chinese government. In the future, the world needs mutual and multilateral relations along with international and regional cooperation. This goal can be achieved by building capacities such as China-India Studies, China-Japan Studies and other university majors.