On the 2009 social climate thermometer, international reads “cools” while China reads “hot”. Swept off its feet by a whirlwind of global challenges ranging from financial crisis and climate change to terrorist threats and nuclear proliferation, the international society braced itself with a grim face. China, in contrast, was in the heat of the moment as it celebrated in elation the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and busied itself with an all-out preparation for the 2010 World Expo scheduled to be held in Shanghai. Riding the tide of national development and the great opportunities generated by this momentum, SIIS happily relocated to our new site and embarked on the path toward a new level of research. Standing at this moment when our nation is prospering and our organization is thriving, SIIS would like to present our first formal public annual report since we were set up.
2009 was a year of continuation and transformation. On the one hand, it was a year in which global issues continued to frame international agenda, with global financial crisis, climate change, anti-terrorism fight and nuclear non-proliferation representing the most important global concerns. At the same time, the international system and structure formed since the end of the Cold War continued on a course of adjustment, as both multipolarization and globalization became reinforced trends. On the other hand, 2009 also saw an unprecedented degree of solidarity and cooperation responding to the global crisis among members on the international community. Meanwhile, international community’s stress have been shifting from the “changing” of international system and structure to the “shaping” of them, during which the competition is ever more intense around the reform of international financial system and global climate change regime. To put it more boldly, a new international economic order, and a new global climate governance structure, is emerging, and demands for governance initiatives are growing fast in number as well on various international and functional issues.
2009 was also a year of reform and construction. As the international society came to terms with the international financial crisis and set about formulating and constituting a new set of post-crisis institutions, significant changes took place in the international reconfiguration, resulting in the division of the world powers structure into four new groups, namely, the gaining grouping, the defending grouping, the declining grouping, and the disadvantaged/powerless grouping. This stratification has led to a realignment of existing strategic powers also is changing the pattern of international interaction formed in the post-WWII and post- Cold War context. 2009 being the first year of Obama’s U.S. presidency as well as of the Obamanian “New Deal”, hegemonic, traditional and emerging powers all took advantage of this timing as an opportunity to articulate new thoughts and set new goals in strategic thinking, in a bid to lift their respective international strategic status and strengthen strategic interests. While the financial crisis slowed down the pace of globalization, a number of important regions and trans-regional organizations, such as the European Union and the Asia-Pacific region, were readjusting and reshaping. The international society was rethinking and redesigning the concepts, mechanisms and roadmaps in relation to issue areas and topics of great concern, while developing countries, despite their differences from each other, were seeking new ideas and grounds for collaboration.
The patterns and trends of the international strategic situation changed at the brisk tempo, yielding a larger space for China’s strategic maneuverability and a wider range of strategic tools for China to choose from. The 60th anniversary of the foundation of New China marked a moment when the “China model” was becoming increasingly distinguished and appealing and also when China was paying more and more back to the international community. In 2009, China showed an active presence at both the global and regional level of multilateral diplomacy as a high-profile participant of G-20, the U.N., ASEAN and other related groups or organizations, making critical contribution to the regrouping and rebuilding of the international system. With mounting expectations for China’s international role, the city of Shanghai also came into the center of international limelight. In particular, as the host city of 2010 World Expo for which the preparation has made many delightful progresses, Shanghai is determined to present a successful and exceptional World Exposition to the world.
In addition to celebrating our National Day and preparing for the World Expo, in 2009, SIIS also completed a “smooth relocation and seamless transition,” and building from this new start point, SIIS continued to strengthen our search foundation and successfully expanded the influence of our work by establishing wider and broader contacts with government and research institutions both at home and abroad. SIIS organized a series of key research projects to address the 60th anniversary of New China’s foundation, hosted 19 international academic conferences, and received more than 700 guests from around the world. Moreover, SIIS also played an active role in the preparation for World Expo Shanghai as a collaborator and promoter of the “100 Celebrity Messages to World Expo 2010 Shanghai” Campaign and as one of the drafters of the Shanghai Declaration to be introduced by next year’s World Expo. In the mean time, SIIS dispensed a number of launch grants to projects proposed by both senior and junior scholars at our organization, recruited a body of staff members from a versatile range of professional and research backgrounds, and devoted a greater effort to educating our graduate students.
2010 is the year of World Expo Shanghai as well as the year marking the 50th anniversary of SIIS. We will commit an even greater effort to the making of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan by our national government and to the organization and hosting of World Expo Shanghai. At the same time, we will go over all our achievements and inadequacies over the past 50 years with a eye to come up with a more forward-looking strategy for SIIS’s future development.
Let’s look forward to a brighter future for SIIS in 2010; a future that also depends on continued support from all our friends. I appreciate your attention and contribution to SIIS, thanks to all of you.