Speech by Ambassador Cao Zhongming at the Plenary Session in Celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the China Platform of Ghent University
23 March 2022
Distinguished Rector Rik Van de Walle,
Deputy An Vervliet,
Mayor Mathias De Clercq,
Director Jean Cornet d’Elzius,
Chairman Kurt Vandeputte,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the China Platform of Ghent University celebrates its 15th anniversary, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, warm congratulations to Ghent University and the China Platform.
With a history of over 200 years, Ghent University has been committed to the credo of “Dare to Think”, and has made many achievements in nurturing talent, building its teaching workforce, developing discipline, conducting academic research and providing social services among others. With a growing international profile, Ghent University has attracted a large number of Chinese students. Attaching great importance to exchanges and cooperation with China, Ghent University established the China Platform to coordinate all China-related matters. This visionary initiative has played an important role in promoting Ghent University’s cooperation with China. We want to express our appreciation and gratitude to Ghent University, Professor Luc Taerwe as the Director of the China Platform, and Mrs. Inge Mangelschots for your tremendous work over the years.
The year 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Belgium. President Xi Jinping and King Philippe exchanged congratulatory messages. They noted the great development achievements of the bilateral relationship since five decades ago and expressed the shared aspiration to further deepen the China-Belgium all-round friendly cooperative partnership. As China has embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects, it will continue to expand high-standard opening-up, share development opportunities with the world, and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. China and Belgium enjoy broad prospects in practical cooperation in education, science and technology. We hope that Ghent University will seize the opportunities and bring even greater success to the China Platform. To that end, it is important to:
First, be a platform of openness. It is important to advocate openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning, and provide an accommodative, friendly atmosphere for exchanges between our professors and researchers.
Second, be a platform of cooperation. It is important to respect how science and technology reflect the feature of the times and the world, and play a bridging role in joint research and the education of foreign students.
Third, be a platform of friendship. It is important to help students and scholars from our two countries to increase mutual understanding and expand common understandings in cooperation so that they will become good partners in academic studies and good friends in the journey of life.
As has been rightly noted by the Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, an outstanding Ghent University alumnus, “Thus are we led by the past and the future.” I believe that the China Platform will build on its success stories over the past 15 years and make greater contribution to educational, scientific and technological exchanges between China and Belgium. The Chinese Embassy in Belgium will continue to support Ghent University and the China Platform in carrying out different forms of cooperation with China. Last but not least, I wish the China Platform of Ghent University even greater success and achievements.