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  • Professor Liu Shusen Attends Cross-Cultural Discourse Studies Forum

    27/12/2017¯Co-hosted by the Center for Cross-Cultural Discourse Studies of Fuzhou University and the Division of Humanities of the University of Otago, the 2017 International Forum on Cross-Cultural Discourse Studies was held in Fuzhou.

    Co-hosted by Center for Cross-cultural Discourse Studies of Fuzhou University and Division of Humanities of the University of Otago, 2017 International Forum on Cross-Cultural Discourse Studies was held at Fuzhou University in Fuzhou,China, from 25th to 26th November 2017. As Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago, Professor Tony Ballantyne headed a team of his colleagues to attend the forum, which is the first academic programme of collaboration between the University of Otago and Fuzhou University. His team included A/Prof. John Stenhouse, Professor Takashi Shogimen, Dr. Jane McCabe, and Dr. Antonie Alm. More than twenty invited speakers from nine universities in China, New Zealand and Japan attended the forum and presented their papers from the different perspectives of cross-cultural discourse studies.


    Photograph of the attendees of the 2017 forum.

    As Director of New Zealand Centre, Peking University, Professor Liu Shusen attended the forum and presented a paper on the cross-cultural relations between China and New Zealand. In his presentation “Cross-cultural Engagement between China and New Zealand: 1972~2017”, Professor Liu Shusen looks backward over the tremendous achievements that have been made since the establishment of the diplomatic relation in 1972 through government-to-government collaboration and people-to-people connections. As the result of these long-term efforts made by the peoples of many generations in both countries, China-Zealand relations now enter into the best shape in history, as represented by many historic records, such as the Free Trade Agreement between China and New Zealand, the first FTA signed in 2007 between China and a developed country. In one of his speeches made on his visit to New Zealand in March, 2017, Premier Li Keqiang said that “The China-New Zealand FTA is one of the highest standard agreements. Upgrading the FTA will promote the development of bilateral economic and trade ties and better befit the two peoples.”

    Then Professor Liu Shusen discusses that the current relation between China and New Zealand results from the long-term efforts and contribution of many social sectors and people in both countries, including cross-cultural engagements between China and New Zealand, which have been developing at various levels, as a cornerstone for the development of the bilateral relations, on top of promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of both countries.

    As the initial cross-cultural engagement between China and New Zealand, his presentation introduces the English introduction of New Zealand in China’s journalism published by western missionaries before 1907, the year that marks New Zealand’s independence from Britain. Then in the early 1930s some earliest Chinese articles on New Zealand literature appeared in Chinese magazines, including an article briefing a few newly published collections of poems by New Zealand poets, written by Wang Zhouran (汪徟然), a literary writer and critic, and published in a literary magazine Pioneer Monthly (《前锋月刊》) in 1930. It was soon followed by two articles by Zhao Jingshen (赵景深,1902~1985), a Chinese writer, critic, literary translator and professor of Chinese literature, which included “Modern Literature of New Zealand” (《现代新西兰文学》) published in 1930 in Novel Monthly(《小说月报》), one of the most popular literary magazines in China from the 1910 to the early 1930, with 1.8 million copies as the publication of its every monthly issue. His second article was “Some Updates in New Zealand Literature” published in Huiyin Monthly (《徽音月刊》)in 1933. Those articles were among the earliest Chinese introduction of New Zealand literature as a part of the contemporary campaign of promoting world literature from the 1920s to the early 1930s, an effort in the literary circles in China to modernize Chinese literature and make it an integral part of world literature.

    His presentation also interprets the introduction of New Zealand in Chinese Journalism between 1949-1972. Although there was no diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand in this period, 237 articles were published in Chinese journalism, introducing many profiles of New Zealand. Some of the articles are Chinese translations of the books and articles by New Zealand writers, including Rewi Alley. The article “My Motherland New Zealand” (《我的祖国新西兰》) by Rewi Alley (路易•艾黎) was translated by Lin Wenxin (林文忻) , which appeared in The Traveler (《旅行家》) in 1955. In view of the historical situation in the period, those articles played a major role between the cross-cultural engagement between China and New Zealand. Given that China was still in the isolation of the Cold War Era, these articles provided Chinese people with important information on geographically far away New Zealand.

    Professor Liu Shusen then focuses on Rewi Alley (路易•艾黎,1897~1987) as the image of New Zealand in China during the period from the 1820s to the 1980s and his significant long-term contribution to the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese revolution and Chinese friendship with other countries. As a writer, educator, political activist, revolutionary, social reformer, potter, and member of the Communist Party of China, Rewi Alley came to China in 1927 and since then he not only engaged with such national leaders as Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Song Qingling and Deng Yingchao but also developed deep friendship with peoples of China, New Zealand and other countries as a “great fighter of internationalism”. Professor Liu Shusen stresses that in consideration of what makes China-New Zealand relations such a tremendous success, it owes much to people-to-people relations and their cross-cultural engagements. Cross-cultural engagement and events have been playing a crucial role in promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of our two countries. In support of his argument, he analyses the unprecedented increase of Chinese students in elementary schools, junior and senior high schools and universities in New Zealand as indicated by New Zealand’s governmental statistical report and some of New Zealand universities’ report of international students. The 2017 “New Zealand International Students Report” indicates that in 2016 the population of international students in New Zealand was increased by 6% against 2015, including those from primary schools, high schools to universities. The most remarkable increase comes from young Chinese students in both primary schools and junior high schools, by 71% and 36%, respectively.


    Poster of Premier Li Keqiang.

    From the perspective of cross-cultural discourse observation, Professor Liu also interprets a fresh phenomenon in the Chinese government’s official website, which for the first time published Chinese and English bilingual posters to highlight some of Premier Li Keqiang’s key messages on his visit to Zealand in March, 2017. His representation intends to explore the often underestimated value and function of cross-cultural engagements and events at all levels between China and New Zealand, which significantly contribute to anchoring the bilateral relation for the benefits of the two countries and peoples.

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