Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa (2013)
Professor Wu Jianmin is a veteran diplomat with over 40 years of experience in international diplomacy. He is greatly respected both within China and overseas. He is now a professor in the China Foreign Affairs University.
Professor Wu graduated in 1959 from the Department of French of the then Beijing Foreign Languages Institute. From 1961 to 1965, he was translator for Chinese representatives at the World Federation of Democratic Youth. From 1965 to 1971, he interpreted French for state leaders. From 1971 onwards, Professor Wu served as a member of the first Permanent Mission to the United Nations. From 1991 to 1994, he was Spokesperson and Director-General at the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1994 to 1995, he was Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary to the Netherlands. From 1996 to 1998, he was Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary to United Nations Office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland. From 1998 to 2003, Professor Wu was appointed Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary to France. During his ambassadorship, Professor Wu successfully arranged the meeting between the then President Jiang Zemin and the French President Jacques Chirac and later Jiang and Chirac exchanged visit to each other’s home town or home department. From 2001 to 2003, he played an instrumental role in launching the “Les Années Chine-France” (The Years of China and France) and in the successful organization of a wide array of cultural activities. During his ambassadorship in France, Professor Wu helped promote exchanges between China and France on different fronts, and the trade volume between the two countries saw an unprecedented growth. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Sino-French relations, President Chirac awarded Professor Wu the honour of “Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur” in 2003. Another notable achievement of Professor Wu is his crucial role in China’s bid for hosting the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In 2003, Professor Wu was elected President of International Exhibitions Bureau and was re-elected in 2005, making him the first Asian, the first Chinese, and the first person from the developing countries to take up this prestigious position.
Upon his return from France, Professor Wu was appointed President of China Foreign Affairs University. During his presidency, Professor Wu built up a training system for diplomatic talents, aiming at nurturing high calibre diplomats with communication skills, an international perspective as well as a profound understanding of traditional Chinese culture.
As a diplomat, Professor Wu presents unique insight and vision. To him, diplomacy is not only a tool to resolving crises but also a means to creating opportunities for future cooperation, and to building a harmonious relationship between nation and nation. By proposing the concept of “diplomatic resources”, Professor Wu advocates Chinese diplomacy as a resource for economic development, and encourages Chinese enterprises to develop an interest in investing overseas. In doing so, Professor Wu has helped China establish friendships and networks worldwide, building a valuable foundation on which our country can further develop.
Professor Wu has developed a close friendship with HKBU in recent years. In 2009, he was invited by the Department of Government and International Studies to speak on his ambassadorship in France. In March 2010, the Centre for Translation of the University invited Professor Wu to deliver a public lecture on “Diplomacy and Intercultural Communication”. In February 2012, Professor Wu visited the University and delivered seminars including on the topic of “Mainstream Chinese Culture”.
Professor Wu Jianmin is a diplomat of far and great vision. He has made extraordinary achievements during his ambassadorships and remarkable contributions to the training of diplomats.