On Friday, April 8, the 2022 Yenching Global Symposium themed “Globalisation or Guóbalisation? Internationalism in Flux” kicked off with the opening ceremony held at the Jingyuan Courtyard 3 of the Peking University campus and online. In attendance were Prof. Dong Qiang, Dean of Yenching Academy, Prof. Yuan Ming, Honourary Dean of Yenching Academy, Prof. Fan Shiming and Associate Prof. Brent Haas, Associate Deans of Yenching Academy, Prof. Lu Yang, Director of Graduate Studies, and Associate Prof. Chen Changwei, Assistant Dean of Yenching Academy. Also present during the event were the YGS delegates, YCA Scholars and staff, and other invited guests.
The event was moderated by Claudia Zhang and Jack Allen, YGS 2022 co-chairs and Yenching Academy 2021 Scholars. They welcomed everyone present and extended their joys to finally starting this year’s Symposium, featuring a lineup of over 40 speakers and 178 delegates from 60 countries and regions. They emphasized that despite the inability to physically meet in Beijing because of the pandemic, “the bright side is that we are able to host more delegates and speakers, and use these three days to really engage in discussion about China and the world at large.”
A video message from other members of the YGS 2022 Executive Committee (EC) was played, introducing the EC members and their portfolios, and detailing this year’s conference theme and other activities the EC has planned for the three-day conference.
Afterward, Dean Dong Qiang gave a welcome remark. He welcomed everyone present and extended his appreciation to the YGS EC for their hard work in planning, designing, and executing the Symposium this year despite being a team scattered across the world because of the pandemic. Prof. Dong described the many challenges the world is confronted with today, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and resource shortages, noting that countries are increasingly shifting their focus inward and paying less attention to cooperating to solving these issues. The Dean explained that Guóbalisation in this year’s theme contains “Guo” from the Chinese characters “国家” (“Guo Jia”) – meaning “country.” He added that although nationality gives us a sense of belonging, we are global citizens and “we should strive for a more globalized world – more open, inclusive, and beneficial for all, with enduring peace and unity.”
Dean Dong retraced his experiences translating Pierre de Coubertin’s 14-paged “Revival of the Olympic Games” from French to Chinese, drawing lessons from the text’s review of diverse sports developed in different nations (guóbalisation) and sport’s ability to promote unity and mutual respect and understanding among peoples (globalization). He believed that the 2022 Beijing Games embody the essence of Coubertin’s “Olympic Manifesto.” The Dean encouraged the participants to engage in fruitful deliberations with the conviction that they are vital contributors to the world’s future.
The audience was entertained by a colorful and beautifully choreographed dance performance from the Peking University Student Dance Troupe. The performance combined five dances, including Mongolian dance, Dai dance, and some other styles with Chinese characteristics.
A video from several delegates was aired, where the delegates described some of the pressing issues they intend to discuss during the Symposium. Following this, a group photo-taking session was organized involving everyone present, both online and in-person.
The co-chairs declared YGS 2022 open, and the event rounded off with cheers from all participants present.