With an average annual GDP growth rate of 9.6 percent from 1978 to 2016, China has become the world's second largest economy. During the rapid economic development, China's cultural self-consciousness has awoken. More and more scholars both home and abroad are inclined to research and think from China's perspective.
From "Beijing Consensus" to the China model and the rise of the China School, the trend of thought based on China's practice and beyond the Western discourse system has been moving forward despite controversies. So, what is the China School? In the opinion of Pan Wei, Director of the Center for Chinese & Global Affairs, Peking University, the creative theories and research breakthroughs in social sciences and humanities inspired by China's characteristics can be regarded as belonging to the China School. As a premise to developing the China School, one must fully understand the knowledge hierarchy of foreign social sciences and the distinctions between China and the rest of the world, according to Pan.
Most scholars developing the China School have the experience of studying abroad, especially in Western countries. Such experience broadens Chinese scholars' horizons and makes them determined to do China studies. Chinese scholars now have a louder voice in economics and politics than in the past. In recent years, the trend has expanded to other subjects such as comparative literature, translation and finance.
The mission of the China School is to develop a knowledge system with Chinese characteristics which is targeted at solving China's problems and providing the world with China's experience and approaches. There is a long road ahead to the establishment of an integrated and mature system of theories on the China model. But it always takes time and hard work to make any achievement in academic research.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in China Newsweek on December 11)