International students contribute to the ECNU special issue: Experiencing China – Dialogue of Maritime Silk Road



As a series of achievement of the “Experiencing China” initiated by the China Scholarship Council, a special issue entitled Experiencing China – Dialogue of Maritime Silk Road, co-edited by four ECNU Professors MU Tao, DU Debin, JIANG Yanpeng, and ZHANG Jing, was published in the Journal of East China Normal University (Natural Sciences) in December 2020 following the “Dialogue on the Maritime Silk Road” Doctoral Forum hosted by the East China Normal University (ECNU) in October 2019.

Experiencing China – Dialogue of Maritime Silk Road,Journal of East China Normal University (Natural Sciences)

The forum was held as a part of the 2019 ‘Experiencing China” activities. At the Forum, altogether 41 international students from 25 countries and some master and Ph.D. students in relevant majors from ECNU were in attendance. During the two days of the Forum, students networked and presented their research outcomes on three topics about the Maritime Silk Road, i.e., “Culture and Civilization”, “Estuaries and Coast” and “Economics and Trade”. They also visited Shanghai and its surrounding areas to experience China’s progress after forty years of reform and opening-up policies starting in 1978.

International students visited the Yangshan Deep Water Port

This academic special issue collects a total of 40 extended abstracts submitted by international students who participated in the Forum, which is edited in three concurrent but interacting themes. The themes are 1) Maritime Silk Road and cross-civilization study, 2) Estuarine and coastal science and technology towards sustainable ecosystems, and 3) Building a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation.

At the launch ceremony for the special issue in March 2021, Jamila Ngondo, studying at the ECNU State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (SKLEC), introduced her research work findings published in the special issue and also shared her gains and feelings of participating in the Forum and publishing her paper. “My paper aims to examine freshwater supply-related challenges to Tanzanian coastal cities and to propose sustainable adaptive strategies. My study results show Tanzania’s coastal cities are vulnerable to all impacts of climate change and seawater intrusion,” said Jamila. “I have learnt a lot through the preparation processes of publication starting from the Forum. The year 2020 was an exceedingly difficult year due to Covid-19. Having a publication like this is one of the golden achievements for my career development.”

SUN Wei, and an Italian doctoral student from the School of International Studies, Peking University expressed his gratitude to all the Forum organizations, especially ECNU, and the editorial board. “It is fortunate to participate in this Forum, and then have the opportunity to communicate the cutting-edge studies with scholars from different academic disciplines and different countries. I have benefited a lot from them. And I am also very fortunate to meet Prof. MU Tao – my respected teacher in the field of African studies.” Wei’s research focuses on transnational migration of Africans, agricultural development and food security, and China-Africa cooperation. In his published article “Djibouti and the Maritime Silk Road”, he mainly analyzed the internal and external situation of Djibouti from both geopolitics and economic development perspectives, as well as the inevitability of cooperation between China and Djibouti.

Gowoon Seong is currently studying for a doctoral degree in the study of cultural relics at Fudan University. Her published paper studies the Chinese celadon exported to the Korean Peninsula. Same as most authors, the editing and publishing process has greatly improved her Chinese. “The written texts in an academic paper are much more rigorous than general reports and oral speeches. And I also realize that publishing such papers cannot be accomplished by scholars alone, it requires efforts of many parties.”

International students shared their research experiences and varied perspective at the publication ceremony.

Prof. ZHANG Jing from SKLEC stressed the recognition of respective culture and its mutual influence, which our students cannot bypass in dealings with the world in the future. “University education shall not ignore this aspect while focusing on imparting knowledge. International students passing their culture, knowledge, religion, world view and values to Chinese teachers and students, which shall benefit us undoubtedly.”

Prof. MU Tao from ECNU Institute of World History Studies pointed out that, in response to jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, efforts in organizing the Forum and publishing the special issue for international students in China shall contribute to promoting the consensus of the international community and students’ future development. At the same time, students feel closer to China. It is expected that the integration of social and natural science and regional integration shall generate more fruitful studies on the Belt and Road Initiative.

Read the ECNU Special Issue on Maritime Silk Road for free at:

A limited number of printed copies available for libraries, schools and researchers in mainland China. Please contact Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) International Project Office at if you would like a copy (no charge).

Source: ECNU State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (SKLEC)
 and Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) International Project Office

Editor: Yuan Yiwei


East China Normal University