World Association for Chinese Studies
On September 24, 2016, the World Association of
Chinese Studies (WACS) was founded in an Inaugural
Ceremony live broadcasted to 36 countries.
As a US-registered organization with the famous scholar
and liberal former PRC vice minister Hu Deping as its
Honorary Chairman, as well as famous Harvard scholar
Stephen Owen and French Léon Vandermeersch as Vice
Chairmen, it keeps the balance between the necessary
support from and cooperation with China, which is its
object and field of study, on the one hand, and the
independency necessary to carry out critical research on
an international level on the other hand.
The Director General Zhai Mu from Jilin University
explains why the Association did not use Chinese terms
like [Zhong]guoxue (Sinology) for its name: “Chinese
studies is carried out all over the world, it is not
just a Chinese thing any more and our Association will
be internationally oriented.” Actually, the Executive
Board lists Korean Jae Woo Park and German Martin
Woesler as members.
WACS has been registered in August 2016 as a non-profit
Association in the USA as well as in December 2016 in
Germany/Europe and establishes in its Bylaws the freedom
and independence of research and teaching as a core
principle. The Ceremony was attended by 163
representatives from 36 countries, live broadcasted on
the WhatsApp comparable chat service “WeChat” and
covered by Chinese media.
Since 2003, the Chinese government through its
‘Han’-Office sponsors the export of Chinese culture and
language with Confucius Institutes, with sponsorship of
Meetings like one of the European Association of Chinese
Studies, with scholarships and since recently with the
Great Congress of Chinese Studies held annually in
Beijing. All of these government-sponsored initiatives
are questioned regarding its independency. WACS now puts
independency top, specifically rejecting any ideological
or political influence. However, as symbolized in its
emblem “peace”, it is a purely academic association and
does neither seek confrontation nor pocketing.
WACS also wants to help combine the efforts of national
Associations of Chinese Studies by establishing a
longterm-oriented umbrella Association, offering
institutional membership to all existing associations in
the field and striving for strategic partnerships with
established organizations like the Association of Asian
Studies and others.
Sign up for membership. See photo gallery. Website: http://china-studies.com/wacs/