The world is undergoing great changes unprecedented in over a century. Impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, profound adjustments have been seen in the international economy, science and technology, culture, and in the security and political landscapes. How can we observe and understand the world amid these great changes? How should China, as one of the most influential actors amid the changes, respond to it? To answer these questions, the Institute of Area Studies, Peking University, in partnership with PKU's School of Economics, hosted a series of New Buds salons titled, "Senior diplomats talk about the unprecedented great changes in over a century" on the occasion of the third anniversary of the establishment of the Institute.
The 31st New Buds Salon, on April 19, invited Prof. Wang Qinfeng, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, to give a keynote presentation titled, "The Enlightenment of Pre-Qin Thought under the Great Changes." Prof. Wang analyzed the rich content of pre-Qin thought from three aspects: contention of a hundred schools of thought, relationship among the feudal princes, and ideological enlightenment. Considering the current world situation, he also analyzed the influence of the ideal enlightenment, wisdom enlightenment and strategy enlightenment of pre-Qin thought on China's foreign diplomacy effort. More than 50 teachers and students from various faculties had an in-depth discussion with Prof. Wang on topics such as the contemporary significance of traditional Chinese culture, how to study guoxue (Chinese traditional learning), and China's relations with foreign countries.