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OPINION | Cao Deming: Shanghai should enhance language policy and education towards urban multilingualism


30 March 2016 | By Jiang Hongdou, Dildar, Xu Qi, Zhou Jiawen and Gu Yiqing | SISU

  • Cao Deming

    Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), which is focusing on global studies, has begun strategic planning for “multilingual+” talents to meet the demand.

  • Shanghai

    According to Cao, integrated bilingual skills are valuable in deepening reforms and furthering development in Shanghai, which is one of the most advanced and international Chinese cities.

C

ao Deming, president of Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), was invited by the Union Times (or Lian He Shi Bao), one of the main political newspaper based in Shanghai, to add his comments and insights on its recent special outlets of China’s 2016 NPC (the National People’s Congress) and CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference). According to Cao, integrated bilingual skills are valuable in deepening reforms and furthering development in Shanghai, which is one of the most advanced and international Chinese cities. Below are excerpts from that interview.

Interviewer: Shanghai, the largest city involved in strategic planning for “One Belt and One Road” (the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” which spans Asia, Africa and Europe), has made strategic development in trade, investment, economic cooperation, cultural exchange and infrastructure construction. In which aspects do you think Shanghai can make a breakthrough? 

Cao: An open mind is critical for China’s future development, as international communication and cooperation helps absorb each cultural essence from the world and study what worked in the past. One urgent issue is therefore cultivating inter-disciplinary innovative talents qualified for cross-cultural communication to develop research for policy advice and help solve global problems, including terrorism, urbanization, climate warming and economic depression.

Interviewer: Shanghai, both the center of One Belt and One Road and Yangtze River economic zone, has powerful advantages in expanding four centers – international economic center, financial center, trading center and shipping center, which would help develop Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and Science Innovation Centre. Do you have any suggestion on the new round of development? 

Cao: Shanghai is in the process of stoking the construction of four centers and pilot free trade zone, and quickening industrial transformation and upgrading and innovative development. The effective enhancement of urban foreign language ability and stimulated motivation of a further opening to the globe will contribute to Shanghai’s construction of international metropolis and a science innovation center.

The increase in international business has created a need for Chinese workers, especially those working in Shanghai, with knowledge of foreign languages and skills in cross-cultural communication. Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), which is focusing on global studies, has begun strategic planning for “multilingual+” talents to meet the demand. The term “multilingual+” means SISU graduates should be inter-disciplinary talents mastering at least two foreign languages. Shanghai should encourage innovations in colleges and research institutions and develop academic exchanges with scholars and experts around the world to enhance its capacity for research and consultation on national strategic planning.

Shanghai should also promote cultural innovations and exchanges to better represent Chinese identity and core values globally.

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Press Contact

SISU News Center, Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Tel : +86 (21) 3537 2378

Email : news@shisu.edu.cn

Address :550 Dalian Road (W), Shanghai 200083, China

Further Reading