The 15th Biennial Edgar Snow Symposium Held at Peking University
From October 10 to 12, 2012, the 15th Biennial Edgar Snow Symposium People-to-People Exchange: Innovation, Friendship, Harmony was held at Zhongguanyuan Global Village PKU. The symposium was co-hosted by China Society for People’s Friendship Studies, Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation, and China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University. Its opening ceremony was attended by more than 100 delegates, including Zhu Liang, former Minister of the International Department, Central Committee of CPC, Qian Yongnian, former Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the State Council, Wu Weiran, Member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Zhou Wenzhong, Secretary-General of the Boao Forum for Asia, Ma Canrong, President of China Society for People’s Friendship Studies, Zhang Kunsheng, Assistant Foreign Minister, Huang Hua’s wife He Liliang, Zhang Xilin, Member of the Standing Committee of Yan’an City, Shaanxi Province, and Deputy Mayor of Yan’an City, Zhou Qifeng, CAS Academician and President of Peking University, Wang Xuezhen, former Secretary of the CPC Committee of Peking University and former Director of China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, officials from Kansas City, Missouri, American friends from University of Missouri and Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation, international friends working in China, Chinese and foreign scholars, diplomats, and representatives of PKU teachers and students.
Li Yansong, Vice President of Peking University and Director of China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, chaired the opening ceremony. Ma Canrong, President of China Society for People’s Friendship Studies and former Chinese Ambassador to Germany, and Jim Hill, President of Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation made welcoming remarks. The biennial Edgar Snow Symposium is held alternately in Snow’s home city Kansas City, Missouri, United States and Beijing, China. The 15th Edgar Snow Symposium was of special significance, as 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China, the 33rd anniversary of the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and the 40th anniversary of Edgar Snow’s death. More than 70 years ago, Edgar Snow run a coverage of the real China to the rest of the world, enabling the world to set its sights on China; 40 years ago, he became a messenger of the ice-breaking tour between the two countries. In China, Snow is regarded as a bridge connecting China and the United States; in the United States, his works have become important literature that can help the US government understand China.
Address by Zhou Qifeng, President of Peking University
In his speech, President Zhou Qifeng pointed out that it was particularly important to hold the symposium on the campus of Peking University, because Snow was devoted to promoting Chinese culture and improving China-US relations all his life, forging an indissoluble bond with Peking University. In early 1934, Snow was invited to be a lecturer in the Department of Journalism, Yenching University, as a reporter for the Newsday in China. His journalism course was very popular among students. At the end of October 1936, after returning to Peiping from the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Region, Snow enthusiastically shared his experience in northern Shaanxi with the young students of Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Yenching University. In Yan Garden, Snow completed the writing of Red Star Over China. After the founding of the PRC, Snow visited Beijing in June 1960, and came to Peking University to meet teachers, students and old friends. He stayed for 5 months. In his book The Other Side of the River published in 1963, he wrote: “National Peking University used to be the most important, as it cultivated the most important founders of the CPC. Today, Peking University is a place that attracts ambitious students and graduate researchers in art and science.” In 1964, Snow visited China again, returned to Yan Garden to meet professors and PKU students. Thanks to his special bond with Peking University, he built profound friendship with teachers and students of Peking University. On October 19, 1973, some of Edgar Snow’s ashes were buried by the Weiming Lake at Peking University, as he wished during his lifetime: “I love China, I should like part of me to stay there after death as it always did during life.” After Snow passed away, his tomb in Yan Garden has been frequented by PKU teachers and students as well as personnel from home and abroad, who came to pay their respects. PKU teachers and students have also written a lot of academic papers on him. Peking University has held many national-level commemorative and academic activities in memory of him. China Center for Edgar Snow Studies provides an important window for Peking University to conduct people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and the US. Following the path traversed by Mr. Snow, the contemporary PKU teachers and students are continuing to show and promote China’s development and progress to the world so as to enhance mutual understanding between the Chinese people and people of the world, and make new contributions to the promotion of China-foreign friendship and lasting peace of the world.
Address by Zhou Wenzhong, Member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Secretary-General of the Boao Forum for Asia, Vice President of the Sino-American Friendship Association, and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
When he was the Chinese Ambassador to the US, Zhou Wenzhong, Member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Secretary-General of the Boao Forum for Asia, Vice President of the Sino-American Friendship Association, and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the 12th Edgar Snow Symposium in Snow’s home town Kansas City on October 18, 2006. In his speech, he spoke highly of Mr. Snow for his tireless work and important contribution to the mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of China and the United States, and pointed out that for decades, with the joint efforts of generations of Chinese leaders and successive US administrations, and the active support and participation of all walks of life in the two countries, China-US relations have gone through ups and downs and made historical progress. The vast Pacific Ocean is no longer a barrier between China and the United States and the two peoples, and the bond between the two countries and the two peoples has never been closer. China-US relations have become one of the most important, dynamic and promising bilateral relations in the world today. China and the United States have the wisdom and ability to explore a new type of major country relationship between an emerging power and an existing power. This is the inevitable requirement of the times for China and the United States, and what Mr. Snow would have hoped for.
In 1936, Mr. Snow broke the numerous blockades and became the first foreign reporter to enter the northern Shaanxi Soviet area to conduct systematic and in-depth interviews and give comprehensive coverage of the truth about the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army to the rest of the world. Red Star Over China and other writings of him played an important part in history, showing the world the truth of the Chinese revolution. These books had a great impact home and abroad. At the opening ceremony, Professor Jia Qingguo, Deputy Dean of School of International Studies, Peking University and Director of Institute for China-US People-to-people Exchange, Leo Morton, President of University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Handy Williamson, Vice Provost at the University of Missouri-Columbia, addressed the symposium. Zhang Xilin, Member of the Standing Committee of Yan’an City, Shaanxi Province, and Deputy Mayor of Yan’an City, and Scott Wagner, Kansas City councilman, jointly announced the establishment of a sister-city relation at the opening ceremony. The video message from Kansas City Mayor Sly James was displayed. Subsequently, Mr. Ma Yifei from Yan’an City, Shaanxi Province introduced the China-US People-to-people Exchange Platform “Red Star Garden” project under the theme of Mr. Snow’s Red Star Over China. John Phillips, Vice President of Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation, announced the launch of the “2013 Summer Edgar Snow Doctor Internship Program” of University of Missouri and St. Luke’s Hospital in China, and the music exchange program of University of Missouri with China.
Vice President Li Yansong also hosted a welcoming luncheon at Peking University. Before the luncheon, a video was played in memory of Huang Hua, the founder of the PFS, and Mary Dwight Dimond, the founder of Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation. The 3-day symposium contained four parallel sessions, namely, China-US higher education cooperation and strategic opportunities, innovation and international cooperation of small and medium-sized enterprises, water pollution control and green economy, and value and result-oriented research of traditional Chinese medicine. On October 12, representatives of students from University of Missouri and Peking University students held exchange activities.