Geography and China Global Strategic High-level Forum held


The statue of Li Chunfen is unveiled.

More than 50 scholars and experts from over 20 Chinese and foreign universities and research institutes attended the 4th Geography and China Global Strategic High-level Forum & 1st Chunfen Forum, which was held between November 18 and 20 at ECNU.

Co-hosted by the Geographical Society of China (GSC) and ECNU, the forum spotlighted an array of issues, such as climate change and global geopolitics pattern, and construction of the Belt and Road, and global geography education development.

Prof. Du Debin, dean of the School of Urban and Regional Science, hosted the opening ceremony. Tong Shijun, chairman of ECNU Council; academician Fu Bojie, director-general of GSC; and academician Chen Jiyu of ECNU delivered speeches. 

The opening ceremony was followed by the unveiling of the bronze statue of Li Chunfen, an outstanding Chinese geographer, geography educator and a key founding father of regional geography.

In his speech, 96-year-old Chen Jiyu, who was the first student of Li, showed gratitude to his teacher and urged ECNU to make greater efforts to promote China's economic and social development as well as geography science development, which he said will be the best way to memorize his teacher.

Academician Chen Jiyu recalls his teacher Li Chunfen.

A hydrography specialist, Chen has been working with the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, ECNU, for more than 60 years.

At a seminar presided over by Prof. Xu Wei from the University of Lethbridge of Canada, Qin Dahe, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who was former head of the China Meteorological Administration; Prof. Zhang Dian with the Department of Geography of the University of Hong Kong; Prof. Zhang Yaoguang with Liaoning Normal University; Prof. He Chanfei with Beijing University; and ECNU Prof. De Debin gave lectures. Song Changqing, a professor of Beijing Normal University and director of GSC Academic Committee made a final report.

In group discussions, attendees exchanged views on topics such as the Belt and Road, economic globalization, how climate change affects geographical relations, and geo-environment of Chinese border areas. 

Geography has become one of the preponderant disciplines in ECNU since the Department of Geography led by Li Chunfen was transferred from Zhejiang University to the newly established ECNU more than 60 years ago. Li had dedicated his life to geography education, helping make the university a heavyweight in the discipline and global geographical research.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Li's death this year, geography scholars and experts gathered together at the forum to contribute ideas on the role of geography in the country's strategic development plan, which is of significant importance to the development of the discipline.


East China Normal University