“The Japanese media were the first to report on Mr. Fu Gaoyi’s death in the world!” After the death of Fu Gaoyi, an honorary professor at Harvard University, the Global Times asked an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in response to the details mentioned by domestic readers.
He said that in Japan, people attach great importance to Fu Gaoyi, because he is a rare “Japanese Tong” and “China Tong” in the United States. Japanese public opinion also sighs similar to that China’s “masters have left” about his departure.
The Japanese diplomatic official who declined to be named said that Fu Gaoyi’s books such as Japan’s First and Japan’s New Middle Class not only talked about Japan’s rise after the war, but also provided a basis for the adjustment of U.S. policy towards Japan.
Japanese diplomatic think tanks and some professional researchers have always maintained close contact with Fu Gaoyi, his family and assistants.
Therefore, the Japanese media is also a step closer to announcing the death of Fu Gaoyi. The diplomat also stressed: “Mr. Fu Gaoyi’s biggest characteristic is that as a ‘Japanese communication’ and ‘China communication’, he is not in ‘knowledge’, but in ‘insight’, he eases the relationship between the United States and Japan, the United States and China.
We know that many senior officials in the United States have consulted Fu Gaoyi on their views on Japan and China, but we have never seen any American official shouting for Japan and China in the economic and other fields with a book or sentence of Mr. Fu Gaoyi.
After paying attention to and reporting international issues for a long time, one of the feeling of the Global Times reporters is that after the end of the cold war, there are always people who sigh that there are fewer and fewer “somethings of countries”.
The reason is that with the end of the cold war, the doors of various countries have been further opened, and the original “iron wall” has been constantly broken. The so-called “commation” of international relations scholars used to be first reflected in the large and exclusive possession of materials. In his early years, the reporter interviewed a Japanese “Chinese Military General”.
When he entered his spacious living room, he could see a large number of newspapers and magazines related to the Chinese military in a row of shelves along the wall. Those familiar with this “military general” know that he seldom goes to China, but has written more than 10 books about contemporary China with these materials. The reporter also interviewed a “CCP Party Stone” who became an expert in a specific era by studying mainland newspapers and documents obtained by Taiwan’s intelligence agencies before the end of the Cold War. In today’s Internet era, under the background of the explosive growth of various information and the difficult to distinguish the true from the false, it is not easy for a scholar to become a real “master” or “national communication”.
Fu Gaoyi and other older American “Zhihua School” scholars have a deeper understanding of Chinese issues and exchanges between China and the United States in a specific era from the perspective of history and culture. Little is known that Harvard University’s research on China’s problems in the United States was divided according to the boundary since 1840.
The most famous historian and problem study the history and problems before 1840 is Mr. Yang Liansheng, etc.; the history and problems after 1840 are the historian and sinologist Mr. Fei Zhengqing. According to the Global Times reporter, Fu Gaoyi studied under Yang Liansheng and Fei Zhengqing at the same time while studying for a doctorate at Harvard University.
When Fu Gaoyi came to Tokyo to give a lecture in the 1990s, the reporter consulted him on this issue. At that time, he said: “It is only when I can worship two masters with different insights as teachers that I can make myself have real growth. ( If) listen to one side of the word, you will not become a real scholar.
Today, when we sigh for Fu Gaoyi’s departure, his words and research experience give people more thought, and more or less let people understand why there are fewer and fewer “Zhihua school” masters in Europe and the United States and Japan since the end of the Cold War.
After Fu Gaoyi’s death, will there be a “Zhihua School” fault in the West?
In an unforgettable year 2020, many heavyweight world celebrities passed away. Fu Gaoyi, a well-known American scholar in the international political field, who is not only an “old friend of the Chinese people” but also praised by the Japanese as “Japanese communication”, especially caused a sho.
After Fu Gaoyi’s death, many people in domestic academic circles are talking about whether Washington’s “old Chinese friends” will be fewer and fewer? Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao also wrote that “the ‘Zhihua School’ is a little worrying”.
However, it is not difficult to find from the observation of the reporter of Global Times that people of insight in the United States are more worried about the decline of the “Zhihua School”.
Under the background of “confrontation and hostility”, the departure of the older generation of “Zhihua School” will highlight the faults in the field of American and China issues.
As Diao Daming, an associate professor at the School of International Relations of Renmin University of China, said in an interview with reporters, a group of older American “Zhihua schools” represented by Fu Gaoyi began their research on China from “some goodwill” or at least “curiosity”, and then further understand China’s historical changes.
In contrast to the relocation and social changes, many “strong” Chinese scholars in the United States today study China in order to “help the United States fight against China”, and they also transmit this view and emotion to more Americans.
The United States is also worried about the decline of the “Zhihua School”
Fu Gaoyi’s death once again triggered a discussion about whether the “Zhihua School” in the United States declined. In fact, this question was not raised first by Chinese academic circles. As early as a few years ago, there were such concerns in the United States, especially when many older generations of “Zhihua factions” “faded out” due to age, health and political positions.
For example, Li Yuru, a 77-year-old former Senior Director of Asian Affairs of the White House National Security Council, has participated in the activities less due to physical reasons. Baudug, vice president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, moved his family to California and was semi-retired. In the past four years, more experts on China have lost their policy influence because of their opposition to Trump’s China policy.
In many years of interview work, the reporter of Global Times in the United States has contacted many old generation of “China Links”, many of whom have a deep relationship with China.
No matter what Sino-US relations are, they can view problems objectively from a historical perspective. For example, Rui Xiaojian, a former U.S. ambassador to China, born in Nanjing, China in 1935, his father Rui Tao’an, has long taught at Jinling University. After graduating from college in 1956, Rui Xiaojian, who was fluent in Chinese, entered the United States Department of State. As one of the “China Links”, Rui Xiaojian was sent to Beijing in 1978 as the deputy director of the U.S. Liaison Office in China and participated in the whole process of the negotiation of establishing diplomatic relations between China and the United States.
Ambassador Rui Xiaojian, who witnessed Japan’s invasion of China in Nanjing as a child and had a career throughout the Cold War, stressed the importance of mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China on any occasion. I remember one seminar after that Ambassador Rui suddenly told the Chinese department of the Voice of America that as a Chinese media affiliated to the U.S. government, you follow the Taiwan authorities and call President Trump “Trump”. Unlike the Chinese media in mainland China, “Voice of America must change immediately”.
In the face of the anti-China wave since Trump came to power, many “Zhihua School” scholars stepped forward. In July 2019, Fu Gaoyi and 100 other “China Tong” published an open letter to President Trump and members of Congress in the Washington Post, “China is not the enemy”.
Soon, a young American scholar on China told reporters in private that the “China Tong” who signed the open letter became more and more “outerotic” in the United States. Some young scholars said that even if they agree with part of the open letter, they are unwilling to sign it.
One of the reasons is that “McCarthyism” is looming in the United States today, and they don’t want to get into trouble because of it – not only are VIPs of the Trump administration attacking China all day long, but also academic institutions and scholars who have contact with China.
It will be investigated by the FBI, not to mention some American media’s ulterior “exposed reports”. An American expert who declined to be named told reporters that he decided not to visit China in the next few years to avoid being labeled as pro-China.
Some experts in American academic circles believe that after the decline of the old generation of “Zhihua School”, the field of China research in the United States is experiencing faults. Although the number of a new generation of experts on China is not large, both academic level and attitude towards China are completely different from the older generation.
Bau Doug, who served as the special assistant to President Bush Sr. and senior director of Asia affairs of the National Security Council, told the Global Times two or three years ago that with the gradual withdrawal of the older generation of “China Tong” from the historical stage, the U.S. policy towards China led by the young and strong is rapidly becoming tough, which will lead to the quality of U.S. foreign policy decisions.
Health. Baudaug believes that the main reason for this change is that the new generation of American experts on China have not experienced World War II and the Cold War and do not know what kind of disaster the great powers will bring to the world once they enter a state of confrontation.
Moreover, most of the new generation of American “China contacts” do not speak Chinese and do not have long-term experience in China. They neither understand China’s history nor the current situation of China.
They understand Sino-US relations more from the perspective of Sino-US “zero-sum game” and from the perspective of maintaining American global hegemony.
Does “McCarthyism” still need to liquidate the German “Zhihua School”?
Whether it is German scholars of Chinese issues or in the circle of German Chinese scholars, many people also lament to the reporter of the Global Times that in the past 10 years, there seems to be no master “Zhi-Chinese school” scholars in Germany, nor have been sensational Chinese research works.
Hamburger Chinese scholar Draeher Wittlov told the Global Times that in the decades after World War II to reunify Germany, Germany’s research on China was “abandoned” due to Cold War factors. After the reunification of Germany, it caught up with China’s rapid increase in influence around the world. German scholars studying China began to multiply and their research fields were expanding.
Trier University, Tübingen University, Hamburg University, etc. have set up departments of Sinology and relevant Chinese majors to carry out teaching and research in China. There are also some special research institutions in Germany, such as the German Global and Regional Research Institute, which have also carried out extensive and in-depth research on China’s problems.
As a result, there are also some well-known experts on China, such as Professor Thomas Hebeiler, director of the Institute of Political Science and the Institute of East Asian Studies of the University of Duisburg and former president of the German-China Friendship Association, who wrote “Entrepreneurs as Strategic Groups: A Study on the Social and Political Functions of Private Entrepreneurs in China”, from “Strategic Groups” “Theoretical research on the development of China’s private entrepreneurs has become an international cutting-edge work in this field of research. In addition, there are also famous Chinese experts Eberhard Sandschneider.
But in Wittlov’s view, it is not easy to become a master expert on Chinese issues in Germany. They not only need to have a clear three-dimensional understanding of China, but also must study and analyze China in a very neutral manner.
They must not be ideologically biased, and must be universally recognized by China, Germany and the international community. Wittlov believes that there are many reasons behind the decline in the number of master-level experts on China in Western countries, including Germany.
On the one hand, predecessors have studied China in the past more and in-depth, so it is difficult for a new generation of scholars to have epoch-making views. On the other hand, most of the current scholars on Chinese issues are studying contemporary China. And China’s development is too fast and complex to catch up with the “China speed”.
In addition, after Trump took office, the U.S. government and some institutions launched an ideological dispute over China, which has blown to some European countries.
“Zhi-China factions” are often more likely to be involved in disputes and even the subject of “McCarthyism” liquidation. Recently, prominent German journalist Wolfgang Sheehan wrote a book called Shenzhen: The World Economy of Tomorrow, which refers to Shenzhen, a metropolis in southern China, as a “high-tech city”, as a new center of the world economy, leading future trends in electric vehicles, genetic engineering or artificial intelligence.
The new book also calls for Germany to move from Silicon Valley to Shenzhen. This book, which seems objective to many readers, has been unreasonably criticized by the media such as Süddeutsche Zeitän, and even the “China Bridge”, a “Zhi-Chinese faction” organization that Sheehan is a founding member, has been severely criticized.
A German scholar who studied China’s problem without anonymity told the Global Times that now the “hawks” in the West do not want to see China’s economy grow in the epidemic and regard the “Zhihua School” as the object of “exuding anger”, which has seriously affected the normal work of Chinese scholars.
The scholar also said that there is another trend that regrets him that many young experts are more inclined to look at China’s rise from a geopolitical perspective, and pay too much attention to Beijing’s influence and threat to America’s global leadership.
The number of scholars studying China is actually increasing.
When Xie Henai, a famous French sinologist and historian, died on March 3, 2018, many people also mentioned that from the 19th century to the beginning of this century, there were a large number of French sinology research talents, such as Gauddi, Shadi, Percy and, Granyan, Wang Demai, etc.
Others said that although French research on China was also affected during the Cold War, such as Perefite, a famous French political and academic figure, who criticized it as “ideologically incorrect” for writing When China Awakes, the world will tremble. But scholars such as Perefite never follow suit, and do not use Western standards to measure China like many commentators in Western public opinion.
It is worth noting that there seem to be fewer master-level “Zhihua School” in Europe and the United States, but in fact, the number of scholars studying China’s problems is increasing. Take France as an example.
With China’s reform and opening up, French Chinese teaching has also developed rapidly. Some scholars have increasingly refined their research on Chinese issues, such as Wenzhou people in France. In recent years, some French geopoliticians, economists and political scientists have also crossed the border to study China at all levels and angles, and articles and books on China have also appeared in large numbers.
At the same time, professional institutions for the study of China are also constantly emerging. In addition to the Institute of Higher Academy of Social Sciences, the National Research Center, the University of Paris and other traditional Sinology and China research centers, a series of other research institutions, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other institutions have also set up Chinese research groups or centers, which have greatly expanded the breadth and Depth.
The German scholar Wittlov believes that the topic of European and American research on China is indeed getting more and more detailed at present, which requires the younger generation of European and American scholars to invest more, more time to settle down, and more exchanges with all walks of life in China to become famous.
At present, the most urgent thing is to resume normal exchanges between China and the United States as soon as possible. Some Chinese and foreign scholars interviewed by the Global Times believe that in addition to fear of being “demonized”, the sharp cooling of Sino-US cultural exchanges during Trump’s presidency has deprived the younger generation of American experts on Chinese issues of important channels of communication with Chinese academics.
In the past two or three years alone, hundreds of Chinese experts’ visas to visit the United States have been cancelled, the Fulbright Research Scholars Program between China and the United States has been suspended, and the Trump administration has also decided that the main destination for U.S. government officials to learn Chinese in the future will be Taiwan, China, not the mainland.
Some American experts privately said that Biden’s rise to power provides a glimmer of hope for changing the plight of fewer and fewer “Zhihua factions” in the United States.
China and the United States should strive to restore the original cultural exchange projects, especially to encourage young American scholars on Chinese issues to study and research in China. “China is so big and developing so fast that there are too many fields that need American scholars to study.”