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Seeking common ground, while maintaining differences

15 May 2019

“Seeking common ground while maintaining differences is the biggest distinction between Chinese culture and Western culture”

It was a sunny and beautiful day with a gentle a breeze on 2nd May 2019, when we welcomed distinguished guests, including Professor Dashu Wang and Mr Peng Zhao, to New Beacon Campus. Professor Dashu Wang is a famous economist, Professor of the School of Economics at Beijing University and Visiting Professor of Stanford University; Mr Peng Zhao is the Vice Director Beijing New Century Education Centre, Beijing New Century Group.

Professor Richard Li-Hua, President of New Beacon Campus, briefed guests on the physical space, land and construction area, teaching & learning and scientific research facilities, living conditions and environment for students and staff; the strategic positioning of the university, its vision and mission, the blue-print of the future development of the university. Professor Li-Hua highlighted to the guests the implementation of the corporate strategy and the establishment of strategic partnerships both at home and overseas. He further highlighted that it is critical to have an integration of both descriptive and emergent strategies at the beginning of the creation of the university along with the creation of distinctive features, education ethos, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking with a global mind-set. Professor Li-Hua stressed the importance of an innovative education ethos and the importance of management innovation, system innovation, campus innovation, talent innovation and culture innovation. Professor Dashu Wang also endorsed these innovation concepts.

Professor Dashu Wang is highly renowned in the fields of economics and management. He has in-depth command of Chinese and Western, both liberal arts and sciences, and integration between history and philosophy. He has undertaken profound research with unique insights on cultural innovation and cultural integration between East and West. Professor Wang has taught courses in the well-known East and West Institutes of Higher Education. His many courses are popular, including his course on “Western and Eastern Languages, Culture, Management and Behaviour Comparison”, which is highly sought after by students. He pointed out that Chinese culture is profound and has a long history stating that “harmony is superior, and tolerance is the most valuable… pursuing harmony is more important than rituals in terms of governance.”

Professor Wang is extremely incisive in the comparative analysis and summarisation of Eastern and Western cultures. He summarises the characteristics of Chinese culture with the phrase “seeking common ground while maintaining difference is the biggest distinction between Chinese culture and Western culture.” It is a coincidence that Professor Dashu Wang’s educational thoughts and philosophy has coincided with Professor Li-Hua’s “Chinese Embracing Innovation” theory and concept, which is almost the same. On behalf of the university, Professor Li-Hua invited Professor Wang to be the Honorary Dean of Beacon Business School and Professor Wang accepted with pleasure.

In addition, both parties have discussed and reached agreement on the development of bespoke programmes and executive development programmes (EDP) as well as joint-holding high-end forums of innovation and entrepreneurship by using the excellent teaching and research facilities of New Beacon.

After the meeting, Professor Li-Hua hosted guests for lunch in the newly opened coffee shop. Then Professor Li-Hua happily showed guests around the campus including Beacon Library and Beacon Sports and Fitness Centre. When walking into the “New Beacon Innovation College” and the “New Beacon Entrepreneurship College”, Professor Wang read the read out with full understanding:

“As heaven maintains vigour through movements, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-perfection. As Earth’s condition is receptive devotion, a gentleman should hold the outer world with broad mind.”

This statement, derived from Confucius, makes the education and academic concepts of the two professors, which have coincided, highly compatible.