[英文版]愿我们成为知音 —— 在英国剑桥大学的演讲
May we be Zhiyin (kindred spirits)
--- Speech at Cambridge University
Dear faculty members, ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to come to the banks of the beautiful River Cambridge and gather together with you all.
I come from a city called Wuhan. Perhaps some of you may not know the city, but perhaps you are already familiar with, Li Na，a Wuhan local and the only Asian tennis player to win a Grand Slam. Having performed particularly well at Wimbledon on several occasions, you could sayBritainwas a sort of promised land for her.
Wuhanis a metropolis in central China with a population of 10 million. Despite being located on the other side of the world, it has enjoyed a long and close relationship with theUnited Kingdom. As early as 155 years ago, British merchants came to Wuhan as pioneers and were later followed by traders from all over the world, engaging in the business of tea, textiles, navigation and finance.
It was at the same time that the English politician Robert Hart was appointed as the general director ofChinaCustoms, with Wuhan Customs being one of the principle regions under his leadership. If you visit Wuhan, you can still see the Customs Building designed by the British architect R.S Stewardson . Over 100 years has since passed, yet this building still stands tall on the bank of the River Yangtze . Today it is seen as a symbol of Wuhan's many historic buildings.
You might ask, why did Wuhan find favour in the eyes of the traders of the past ? Well, it is because Wuhan possesses two key characteristics which other Chinese cities do not have: first, Wuhan is the geographic centre of China, the culture from all corners of the Middle Kingdom have gathered here for almost 3500 years, leading to an uncanny sense of cultural-flexibility ingrained into the city's character. It is because of this, that when people come to Wuhan they do not feel they have entered into a foreign city but rather, experience a sense akin to that of returning home.
Additionally, Wuhan was founded on the confluence of two great rivers, one of which is the Yangtze River, the longest river inChina, the other, the Han River, which possesses a 700 million year history. Since the ancient times, Wuhan has been known as the 'Thoroughfare to Nine Provinces", it has seen merchants gathering, cargo flowing, it has seen southern boats and northern horses, all of which enjoyed accessibility in all directions. It is precisely Wuhan's geographic location which has lent itself to becoming one of the trade and transport centres ofChina.
We are the ambassadors of friendship for Wuhan, the purpose of our visit being to promote communication and cooperation on culture, education, and journalism; making contributions to the golden age of the comprehensive strategic partnership betweenChinaandUnited Kingdom. It was my Chinese forefathers who once said, “The relationship between countries lies in the friendship of people”. As for how to foster such friendship, the most important point is that we continue to cultivate a genuine understanding between the leaders of today and the talents of tomorrow. Those of you sitting here in this hall most likely belong to one of those two categories, and will undoubtedly go on to play a very significant role in the relations between our two countries.
There is saying that seeing is believing, and it is for this reason that we encourage you to visit Wuhan. Wuhan is a beautiful city. The exquisite park which runs along the river bank is like a gallery stretching 100 kilometres long. The 166 lakes and wetlands of Wuhan, have earned it the name "City of a hundred lakes”. We are at present linking together all of these lakes, hills and parks with green paths so that soon Wuhan will be one lake, one park, one picturesque scene, fusing the natural and urban world's together to transform Wuhan into a true Eco-city.
This provides a perfect environment for the 1 million students that are currently pursuing higher education at one of our 82 academic institutes. These universities and colleges lay dotted around the city, standing alongside rivers, sitting by lakesides, or even hiding in tranquil forests. The most famous of all these institutes being Wuhan University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
As an envoy of friendship for Chinese universities, please allow me to express my utmost respect for Cambridge University. Cambridge has been the pioneer of education for over 800 years, and has a history longer than some countries.Upholding tradition, innovating with audacity, exploring the world and searching for truth; these are the traits which have led Cambridge to contribute so greatly to the miracle of human education.
Newton, Darwin, Bacon, Russel, Wittgenstein, Keynes, Milton, Byron, all of whom once studied and worked here represented the peak of science and culture in their day and went on to achieve international acclaim. Moreover, the 90 Nobel Prize winners this university has produced have all helped to establish Cambridge as a centre for world culture and academia.
In the past 100 years, Chinese students began to leave their homes for Cambridge, many of whom gained achievements and made great contributions to the progress ofChina. For example, Hua Luogeng, the father of modern mathematics education of China, Xiao Qian, the pioneer of the modern journalism of China, Jin Yong, the leading authority of literature as well as Ye Junjian, the famous translator who created China Literature , the first magazine directed at a foreign audience- on a side note he was also a graduate from Wuhan University.
Cambridge University is definitely a cradle for world class talents. Having produced 8 prime ministers, leading figures in commerce, as well as other luminaries in almost every field imaginable, We can confidently assume that some of students here today will go on to be the leaders of their countries, nations and perhaps even the world of tomorrow. Yet the direction of the future is determined by how one understands the diverse world of the present as well as the manner one chooses to treat other cultures.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would now like to share with you the definitive fable of mutual understanding from the canon of Chinese literature. There was once an incredibly gifted Guqin player by the name of Boya; however despite being eminently talented, many failed to comprehend his music. It was not until a man by the name of ZhongZiQi, stumbled across Boya that his genius could be truly recognised. ZhongZiQi said that when Boya played with vigour it was as if he was experiencing the same majesty and awe that one feels in the presences of lofty mountains. When Boya played softly, ZhongZiQi said it was as if he could feel the quiet murmur of a flowing stream. Boya was shocked how somebody other than himself was able to so intimately understand what he was attempting to express through his music.
However, after ZhongZiQi's death, Boya fell into a deep depression, destroying his Guqin and vowing to never play again. For in his mind there was nobody on this earth worthy enough to enjoy his art. It was not until later on that ZhongZiQi came to be known as Boya's kindred spirits-his知音.The back drop of this story, was none other than the ancient QinTai which still sits quietly in Wuhan.
As Mountains are to Rivers, as life is to death as one heart is to another, thus such is the nature of知音; a bond so strong it transcends beyond the boundaries of the norm, ascending into the highest echelon of human emotion.
It is only this degree of understanding and intimacy that warrants the title知音. We have come from the birthplaceof such a notion to the United Kingdom, so that we might find a friend, you could say we are in search of our very own ZhongZiQi.
TheU.K and Chinahave for many years enjoyed each other's unique culture, and all of us are keen to deepen our mutual understanding and trustas we enter into the golden age of British-Sino relations. Yet in order to do so education undoubtedly must play a key role.
Britain already has over 600 middle schools offering mandarin classes as well as 27 Confucius institutes located around the country. Where higher education is concerned, there are an estimated 6000 British nationals currently studying in China, whilst Britain herself boasts an impressive 150000 Chinese students, a figure which accounts for half of all Chinese studying abroad in Europe.
These statistics serve to highlight the fact that the cultural communication between the two countries has already reached an extremely intimate degree. Such a relationship isreinforcedby China's native students desire to study English, the language of the world. Never before have we seen such an eagerness by Chinese young people to not only understand, but also to be understood by the rest of the world.
Britain was not only the first Western power to acknowledge the new China, but was also the first country in the European Union to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with the PRC.
Whilst where economic partnership is concerned,the U.K.isnowthe largest offshore RMB market centre outside of Hong Kong, Additionally Britain was the first western country to issue RMB national debt, as well as apply for membership to the AIIB, as launched by China.
Thus is can be said that Britain is the first of the major Western Powers who has wholeheartedly engaged in establishing a relationship based on mutual benefit.
The story of Boya and ZhongZiQi tells us that it is the open cultural mind and accumulation of culture which facilitates the cultivation of strong friendships.The reason why the Chinese and British people feel more and more like kindred spirits lies in that the two countries enjoy a long history and splendid culture and have made great contributions to human progress.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, China was once considered to be the most advanced country in the world. It had created a cultural legacy which was unprecedented in its scale and had remained untouched for almost 5000 years. Paper, printing, the compass and gunpowder, the four great inventions of ancient China, have had an immeasurable impact on the promulgation of culture,as well asexplorationandtradethroughout the world.The magnum opus of the famous Cambridge scholar, Joseph Nedum, perfectly captures the extent to which these innovations impacted humankind-it's definitely worth a read.
An excellent example of which is the comparison drawn between the navies of Ferdinand Magellan and Zheng He. It was in 1519 when Magellan sailed the world with his fleet of ships and a crew of 256. Yet 87 years prior to Magellan's journey, the Ming navalexplorerZhengHe had already been on an expedition of his own，With a fleet of over 200 ships and the capacity to carry a crew of 27,000.The Chinesefleetwas an impressive force, ZhengHe's ship alone was a staggering 8 stories high and could hold up to 1000 people. Nedum wrote, no navy in the world could come close to the sheer size and scale of ZhengHe's master fleet, even if all the European navies of the time were to combine to form one untied force, they would still be dwarfed in comparison.
However it was the era of industrialisation that belonged toBritain.Britainled from the front, bringing about the creation and development of inventions which went on to define the age. Inventions such as the steam engine, the jet engine, the discovery of DNA, as well as the contributions to the field of electromagnetism, have all played their part in shaping the world we know today.
Shifting gears slightly and turning our sights towards politics, it was theUnited Kingdomthat first implemented a representative system of government, which without a doubt had profound implications worldwide in the fields of social management and theory. Having borne the burdens of two world wars, theU.K.went on to be one of key founders of today's political and economic organisations, which, have for the last 70 years ensured a prolonged period of peace and prosperity for the world.
In fact you could argue that theUnited Kingdomhas been the most important and influential power of the last 100 years and the contributions it made during this period are universally recognised.
Yet it was during this time of development and prosperity for the West, which saw the dragon of the east fall behind. Nevertheless, having undergone one hundred years of trials and tribulations, struggle of generation upon generationof Chinese people have given rise to a newChina. After which, the country and its people set itself on a course of rapid industrialisation, with all the force and vigour of a great typhoon.
Since embarking on the policy of "Reform and Opening Up"Chinahas continued to advance and modernise itself. For the last 37 years it has maintained a growth rate of 10% per annum, which has resulted in it becoming the second largest economy in the world. China is now the largest producer of crude steel, coal, electricity, cement, fertiliser, grains, meat, peanuts and tea.
Recent data states that the contribution made byChinato the international economy has reached a staggering 26%.
In regards to foreign trade, China is ranked number one in the world for total number of goods traded; comes second in it's total quantity of services provided, and ranks third in the area of direct foreign investment. Whilst with regard to
transportation,China's high speed roads, railway system, and city subway lines are also ranked top in the world in terms of total track length. where the tourism industry is concerned,Chinanow has the largest number of outbound travellers with the highest rate expenditure out of any other country.
Experts predict that in the next five years, capital generated from Chinese imports will exceed 10 trillion USD, whilst the total amount of foreign investment shall be upwards of 500 billion USD，andthe number of Chinese going abroad will reach over 500 million.
In light of such data, it has now become apparent thatChinais one of the major driving forces behind the world's economy. The development ofChinais a great opportunity not only for the whole world but also for theUnited Kingdomand its people.
China's growth has grabbed the attention of the world, and the above figures highlight the fact thatChinahas indeed found the best development model for itself. It was the Cambridge philosopher Russel, who once said, "Only the Chinese truly know themselves... long term solutions and strategies to problems can only be conceived by themselves. ”China has, in the space of a few decades managed to achieve a degree of prosperity in what took many other nations several centuries.
China's unprecedented increase in the strength of the nation has to a great extent not only improved the lives of its people at a material level, but also at a deeper more personal level; our greatest achievement thus far being the elimination of poverty from the lives of 600,000000 people in poorly developed regions. This is the largest reduction of poverty in all of history.
Today, several millions of civil servants are going from village to village, door to door, family to family offering their assistance to those still stricken by poverty, as well as continuing to implement new initiatives which will serve to eradicate poverty from our country for good. China is committed to reaching this target before 2020 and maintains that no man, woman or child shall be left behind in this process. That is to say, every single member of our country has the right to their fair share of their nation's success.
Itisthe combination of both moral and socioeconomic success which has caught the attention as well as earned the approval of the international community.Today, China has returned to the world stage and is beginning to play a new role in international affairs. As Secretary General of the United Nations Ban-Ki Moon once said, the world is eagerly awaiting China to begin to display more qualities of leadership in the international arena. In an age of terrorism, Internet security threats, climate change, economic unrest as well as viral epidemics,communicationis key.It would be unimaginable to presume that such problems could be resolved without China at the table.
In the future, whether its education, entrepreneurship or travel that brings you to China, You must not forget Wuhan, the city that gave rise to the idea of知音, as well as its magnificent mountains and flowing waters. If you want to understand the world today, you have to visitChina. Yet if you were to go toChinabut not visit Wuhan, I guarantee that you will regret it for the rest of your life.
"Why would I regret it you may ask?" Well simply put, Wuhan is a microcosm of modern dayChina. It was Wuhan that was the first to initiate the exciting westernisation movement inChina's more recent history. New schools were opened in Wuhan for the teaching of scientific knowledge; factories were established whist commerce and trade were developed.
It was in this exciting age that large numbers of young and gifted students were selected to study overseas, and upon their return serve as representatives for the city government. Such protocol is not unfamiliar when looking at the history of Wuhan. After all, it was the great academics and progressive thinkers of the day who gathered in our city and laid the foundation for the 1911 revolution. It was this uprising that marked a new era forChinaafter these revolutionaries finally overturned the feudal system which had been in place for over 2000 years.
Today Wuhan -much like the London and Manchester of the past- is transforming itself from an industrial base into a modern city. It was only a few decades ago, that the iron and steel industry was the sole pillar which held up Wuhan. However, in the wake of a technological revolution that has given us microchips and genetic modification, Wuhan has been laying new foundations in the fields of I.T.、Smart Tech and medicine, which are all contributing to reshaping the soul of our city.
By 2020, Wuhan's subway network will have over 400 kilometres of track, making it one of the longest in the world. China's high-speed rail network, which Wuhan is at the heart of, has made the potential of this city limitless. In roughly 4hours people and goods can be moved across a distance of 1,000 kilometers, in any direction. The implications of which means the city’s reach extends to over 1 billion people and also has a say in 90% ofChina’s overall GDP. Whilst if one was to go by air, you could reach any big city in the country in 2 hours.
The Yangtze economic zone, comprised of the cities which cluster around the central part of the Yangtze , shall take Wuhan to be its leader. With Wuhan at its core, this region intends to become a hub of ecological development and assume the role ofChina's main economic driving force as we enter into the next stage of our nation's growth.
If we had to sum up Wuhan then it would be, an Eco-city with ambition and potential; a city of creativity and innovation; a city of universities; the city of the future.
The American magazine National Geographic once selected the world's top ten cities of the future, Wuhan not only made it onto the list, but was ranked at number 3, which forced some of its readers who held more traditional views on China to take a step back and reconsider their stance.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take one more opportunity to display my admiration for the foresight of the British people. The potential for development in Wuhan has already attracted many Brits to bring their businesses to our city. One such man is Dr. Simon Haworth, who received our city's Friendship Award for his excellence in the field of entrepreneurship. Simon was born in Ashwell, which is not far from Cambridge; however, his predecessors had already begun to make in-roads intoChinasome 140 years before him, finding themselves in the silk business. According to letters found in a library here at Cambridge, Simon's family's business lasted for more than half a century at least.
In the past, his family had selected Shanghai, the Paris of the East as their base of operations. Nevertheless, in today's day and age, Simon chose a different path, opting to invest in Wuhan, the future city ofChina. The reasoning behind his choice came down to two images which demonstrated to Simon the direction in which Wuhan is going. The first was a photo taken in early 2009 of a Biolake in Optics Valley, which at that time was virtually a wasteland. The other, was a picture of the same Biolake a mere 3 years later, whose tall buildings stood in stark contrast to the image Simon had in his mind, and thus directly revealed to him the rate and potential for development in Wuhan. It was for this reason that in 2013 Simon decided to establish his own Biotech company in Optics Valley.
Convinced by the city's phenomenal potential for growth ,he quickly found out that costs of living, as well as operation and manufacturing were significantly lower here in Wuhan than in other cities inChina. Simon came to the conclusion that the awe-inspiring development -previously synonymous with Shanghai and other coastal cities- had begun to enter into a mature period, whilstChina's economic miracle could continue to unfold in its more central cities, with Wuhan leading the charge. It was for this reason that, “Dare to be first, pursue excellence” was chosen to be the motto for Wuhan. Simon from his base in Optics Valley could feel the breadth of vision that this city has.He is also experiencing the blinding speed at which Wuhan is moving forward.
In the short space of ten years, Optics Valley has been transformed from unused flatland into what is now the the largest R&D centre for optical communication inChina. Additionally, it is the largest manufacturing base for fibre optics, photoelectric devices and lasers. In terms of its scale, Optics Valley is now the largest optical fibre and cable manufacturer in the world and possesses China's only state key lab specifically dedicated to photoelectronic research.
As aforementioned, Wuhan is the microcosm of modernChina, yet it is Optics Valley which is the microcosm of Wuhan.
“Wuhan, different every day!” In Wuhan, miracles happen on a daily basis, in recent years the most noteworthy being that of a graduate from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Mr. Zhang Xiaolong, the man behind WECHAT. WEChat is a realtime mobile communications app which in as little time as three years has accumulated 700 million users worldwide. What sets this app apart is the Friend Circle feature. The idea that anybody could establish their own circle has led to an exponential increase in its users. Today people around the world are connected through their WECHAT accounts.
It is hard to dispute the fact that humans are the most socially orientated animal on the planet. The desire to make friends, to communicate and to express ourselves perhaps originates from an inexplicable sense of loneliness which lies deep in our hearts. Often going unnoticed we find ourselves overcomebysuch a feeling when we turn our gaze to the stars, and despite our best efforts, we are still yet to find any life form with which we can share this vast universe. We have no idea where we came from and we have less about where we are going. Humanity, in essence is just the collective experience of existence, similar to what John Donne alludestowhen he wrote "if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me."
When we touched down inBritain, we were able to deeply feel the hospitality, passion and optimism of this nation's people. It was in that moment an idea, no a dream, a dream suddenly sprung across my mind. This dream would see us every year hold an international forum in honour of our Zhiyin, to express the culture of Zhiyin and to provide a platform for dialogue, debate, and discussion ,laying the seeds of genuine friendship.
This is not merely for the sake of bringingBritainandChinacloser to becoming Zhiyin, but to provide an opportunity for each of the country’s people to learn from one another as well to set out on a path of appreciation and mutual respect. If we were to overcome misconception,reach forgiveness and promote understanding, the vision written in Wang Bo’s poem - “A kindred spirit afar brings a distant land near” - will most certainly be achieved.
Lastly, please take out your mobile and join my wechat friend circle. If you come to Wuhan one day, you will find me, your friend, Li Shuyong eagerly awaiting your arrival. I will lead you up the Yellow Crane Tower and we can look upon the Yangtze River from its peak. We can enjoy listening to the ancient master piece, Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water, as well as go in search of some of the delicious local snacks: like hot dry noodles, doupi, steamed dumplings and duck neck. I bet that from the moment you arrive in Wuhan, you will begin to fall deeply in love with our beautiful city and the hospitality of our people.
Thanks for listening !