Prof Zhao’an Zhang, Vice President of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), Dr Jianxun Chen, Director of the Applied Economy Research Institute of the SASS visited UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland (UCD CII) on November 3rd. Prof Liming Wang, Director of UCD CII and Prof Yongqiang Cai, Co-Director of the Institute received the guests. This was a follow-up visit after the signing of the MoU between Prof Xinhui Yu, Party Secretary of SASS and Prof Andrew Deeks, President of UCD in Shanghai on October 28th. Both parties discussed possible collaborations and exchanges under the framework of the MoU.
Prof Wang briefed the visitors on the social economic development of Ireland, especially its achievements in areas of ICT, financial service, food safety, innovation and R&D. He also reviewed the 10-year development of UCD CII and pointed out that the Institute has now become an important platform in promoting Chinese language and culture and Sino-Irish friendship. He stressed that the Institute is facing with new opportunities and challenges under the ‘One Belt and One Road’ (OBOR) initiatives launched by the Chinese government. Confucius Institutes around the world need to reposition themselves to collaborate with Chinese partner universities, research institutes and think tanks, and conduct basic research on the society, humanities, public opinions and environment of the countries along the ‘Belt and Road’ so as to provide solid data and research reports as references for making decisions on the OBOR projects.
Prof Zhang presented a brief introduction of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and its various institutes including the Institute of Economics, Institute of Applied Economy and Institute of World Economy. As a leading research institution based in Shanghai, the SASS has been appointed as one of the 25 national think tanks in China. He expressed that UCD CII may act as the bridge for further co-operation between SASS and Irish universities, enterprises and think tanks. Both parties agreed that a training centre should be developed within UCD CII in order for talents and civil servants coming from China’s Yangtze River Delta areas to be trained in Ireland.