Past Event

In Conversation with Wang Gungwu – Understanding the Sinic Civilization in World History

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GIOAS | Open Conversation Georgetown | Open Dialogues Georgetown | Global Dialogue Georgetown | Technology Dialogue Georgetown
Date/Day: 19 August 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 8.00 pm - 9.30 pm
Language: English
A webinar organised by Berggruen Institute, Global Thinkers Series.

世界思想家系列 | Global Thinkers Series


In Conversation with Wang Gungwu – Understanding the Sinic Civilization in World History

对话背景 | About the Event



Professor Wang Gungwu’s theory on the Eurasian Core and his insights on the rise and fall of continental and maritime powers in the past several millennia hold a tremendous explanatory power for understanding the evolution and dynamic forces which have shaped and given character to the Chinese and Western civilizations. His works offer insight into the deep psyche and underlying motivations of major players in today's geopolitical grand strategy.

Wang has had a long and illustrious academic career on regional histories and the world's major civilizations. Born in the Dutch East Indies, he has lived in Malaysia, China mainland, Singapore, Hong Kong, England, and Australia, combine to make him a unique and insightful world history theorist.

内容主题 | Key Discussions

  • “Civilization” = “文明”?
  • 欧亚核心是怎样塑造东亚和地中海文明的?
  • 从华人外迁到中国文明的传播
  • 文明体之间如何能做到求同存异、相携共处?

  • How can we define “civilization”?
  • What is the Eurasian core?
  • How have emigrants shaped the patterns of expansion of Chinese civilization?
  • How have civilizations nurtured each other?

主讲嘉宾 | Presenter

Wang Gungwu





Historian, Sinologist, Writer

University Professor, National University of Singapore

Emeritus Professor, Australian National University

Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Hong Kong




Professor Wang Gungwu is University Professor of the National University of Singapore and Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. 

Professor Wang received his BA and MA from University of Malaya (UM) in Singapore, and PhD at the University of London (1957). His early teaching career was in the UM History Department, 1957-68. He was appointed to the Chair of Far Eastern History at the Australian National University, 1968-86, where he was also Director of the Research of Pacific Studies, 1975-80. He served as Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong, 1986-95. In Singapore, he was Director of the East Asian Institute (EAI), 1997-2007, and Chairman of EAI, 2007-18. 

Professor Wang is a Commander of the British Empire (CBE); Fellow, and former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science; Member of Academia Sinica; and Honorary Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Science. He was conferred the International Academic Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes and, in 2020, awarded the Tang Prize in Sinology.

主持嘉宾 | Moderators

Song Bing



Vice President, Berggruen Institute

Director, Berggruen China Center




Bing Song is a Vice President of the Berggruen Institute and Director of the Institute’s China Centre. Prior to joining the Berggruen Institute, Ms. Song was a senior executive with Goldman Sachs China for over a decade, and prior to working at Goldman, she was a capital markets lawyer for many years. Earlier in her career, Bing undertook academic and policy research and published in the areas of administrative law, competition law and comparative procedural laws.

Recently she edited a book entitled Wisdom and Intelligence – Artificial Intelligence Meets Chinese Philosophers (published by Citic Press Group in February 2020). This was the first systematic endeavour by prominent Chinese philosophers of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism to address challenges and opportunities posed by frontier technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics. A shorter version of the book has been translated into English and will be published by Springer in September 2021.

Bing sits on the boards of the Beijing Social Work Development Center for Facilitators, Yuan Dian Contemporary Art Museum in Beijing and Baixian Asia Institute in Hong Kong.

Li Xin



Vice President, Caixin Media

Managing Director, Caixin Global





Li Xin is Vice President of Caixin Media and Managing Director of Caixin Global, leading the company’s global news and intelligence services, as well as Caixin’s international branding and global events. Before Caixin, she was the Managing Editor of the Chinese Wall Street Journal and Chinese Dow Jones newswire. 

This is her second stint at Caixin, where she was formerly the Managing Editor of Caixin: China Economics & Finance, an English-language magazine, and Caixin Online at Caixin Media. 

In 2006, she founded Caijing Magazine’s first bureau in the United States, as a correspondent of politics and economics. Li was a documentary producer at China Central Television between 2001 and 2004. Li holds a bachelor degree from Tsinghua University, a master degree the journalism school of University of Missouri-Columbia and an Executive MBA degree from Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. 

She is an Aspen China Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, as well as a member of the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum. She is the co-chair of China Council for World Economic Forum Future Councils.

Zoom参与时间 Webinar live 

2021.08.19 / 20:00-21:30

观众日程 Agenda

20:00 – 20:10 开场简介|Opening Remarks

20:10 – 21:00 对话|Dialogue

21:00 – 21:30 观众问答|Q & A

直播平台 Streaming Platform



Scan to register, and the number of seats is limited

财新YouTube频道(Caixin Media Official Channel)将于19日同步直播。

@微博国际、@财新国际的微博账号和博古睿YouTube频道(Berggruen Institute)将于8月20日晚8点播出。

Or you can watch live on YouTube at Caixin Media Official Channel. 

Berggruen Institute's YouTube channel, Weibo International (@微博国际) and Caixin Global (@财新国际)'s Weibo accounts will broadcast the dialogue at 8 P.M. on August 20th (CST)

语言 | Language

英文 English

关于世界思想家系列 | About the Global Thinkers Series



The spread of more deadly Covid-19 variants has once again raised uncertainty of economic reopening around the world. At the same time, climate disasters occurring across continents have triggered a fear of imminent ecological disaster. These worldwide events once again reminded us of what the global commons ought to be. However, the geopolitical landscape is still immersed in trade wars, tech wars, zero-sum competitions, and ideological and political confrontation. Severe misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the civilizational values and cultural psychology of “the other” are constraining our ability to face existential issues of a planetary scale,  and obstructing our capacity to solve these problems. 

The Berggruen Institute and Caixin Media believe that global cooperation must be based on a mutual understanding of the development trajectories and values of the world’s major civilizations.

The Global Thinkers Series invites thinkers who have deep insights into the evolution of different civilizations and the grand narratives of world history to share their knowledge and wisdom. It is hoped that with strengthened understanding and trust between different civilizations, we can help remove the intolerance, arrogance, and misunderstanding that has come to characterize contemporary geopolitics.

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