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Prof. Li Yining: Fifty-five Years’ Devotion to Economics and Education

Peking University, Nov. 29, 2010: On Nov. 27, 2010, a seminar on “Economic Theories and the Chinese Way” was held in Peking University Hall, and it was also a ceremony of Prof. Li Yining’s 80th birthday and 55th teaching year. 


The Seminar and Ceremony


Video from PKUTV (in Chinese)


As the host of this event, Peking University (PKU) President Zhou Qifeng introduced that the seminar aimed at reviewing the development history of Chinese economics since the Reform and Opening-up and summarizing the experience of economic development of China. When he suggested that all the guests and audience express birthday blessing to Prof. Li Yining, loud applause arose in the hall.


PKU Counsil Chairman Min Weifang spoke highly of the important contribution Prof. Li Yining has made to the Chinese economic theory researches, Chinese education and PKU’s disciplinary construction. He said, “The seminar reviews and also looks forward to Prof. Li Yining’s academic achievements and social contributions, and meanwhile it will encourage PKU students and faculty to learn his spirit, carry on the traditions of PKU, and take on the responsibilities of our nation, so that we can make PKU a world-class university as soon as possible.”


Prof. Min Weifang's Speech


PKU President Zhou Qifeng as a Host


Subsequently, Prof. Li Yining made a speech “On the Driving Force of Chinese Economic Development." Through reviewing and summarizing the experience of last 30 years since the Reform and Opening-up, Prof. Li Yining pointed out the driving force of Chinese economic development lay in the great initiative among people. Contract responsibility system, township enterprises and special economic zones had fully proved it.


Prof. Li Yining's Speech


Prof. Li Yining said, the prerequisite of giving play to the initiative among people was the adjustment of the system, because only with the adjustment of the system and the guidance of the government, could the country guarantee social equality and horizontal and vertical social mobility, and really give play to the initiative among people.


Moreover, Prof. Li Yining introduced the significant problems of Chinese economic development in the next step and solutions to them. As for systematic innovation and industrial upgrading, he thought we should change concepts: private enterprises, not the ones out of socialistic system, but part of national enterprises. He pointed out only by changing the concepts could we encourage theenthusiasm for innovation, and that the economic development of China needed not only great innovation but also small ones. As for employment problem, he said, the low level of urbanization and the still-existing dual urban-rural structure brought great pressure to the increase of Chinese economy. He also mentioned his thoughts about social equality and economic development problems caused by the surge of “new migrant workers” from rural areas.


In addition, Prof. Li Yining analyzed other problems including environmental protection and ecological construction, education, the expansion of domestic need and how to make best use of limited farmland, and gave his solutions. The core  was exactly giving play to the initiative among people.


The First Release of Economic Development: the Chinese Way


After the speech, the ceremony for the first release of Prof. Li Yining’s English anthology Economic Development: the Chinese Way was held. In his speech, Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping pointed out that the publishing of the anthology accorded with the developmental strategy “to introduce China to the world”.


On the afternoon of Nov. 27, the academic seminar on “Economic Theories and the Chinese Way” was held in Guanghua School of Management.


Translated by: Xu Xinyi
Edited by: Zhang Chunlan
Source: PKU News (Chinese)