A Tale of Two Cities
Though far away from each other, the Chinese cities of Shanghai in the south and Qingdao in the north both share a similar history and overlapping cultures. One hundred years ago, Shanghai was the most prosperous economic and trading center in the Far East, and was in fact rarely referred to as Shanghai of China due to the great number of foreign settlements in the city. Qingdao, a modern port city transformed from a small fishing village, was twice subjected to imperial invasion and colonial rule, first by Germany and then Japan. As a matter of fact, this story is not only about these two cities: for the Chinese people, what happened in China a hundred years ago was a memory of humiliation, desperation and self-improvement.
However, it was at a time of constant warfare, with the nation’s very existence in danger that a truly modern approach to higher business education in China began exploring ways to rescue the country. From the Business Department of Nanjing Higher Normal School and the Shanghai College of Commerce (part of Southeast University), to the independently-established state-run Shanghai Business School, our prescient forerunners were determined to introduce Business to the poor, backward nation of China. Together with our other predecessors, who introduced Democracy and Science into China through the New Culture Movement, they were all devoted to the greater cause of national salvation.
In two years, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) will welcome its 100th birthday. By establishing SUFE-Qingdao Wealth Management Institute, the old but energetic university will take a historic mission once more. In the prelude to the rise of China as the most powerful economy in the world, it will closely connect the future and destiny of the two cities, with one being the economic leader of China and the prospective international financial center, the other being the prospective international wealth management center. Behind the similar prosperity are two completely different historic logics.
One hundred years, one university prospering in two cities. For this time, we expect a different version of the tale of two cities.
President of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Director General of SUFE-Qingdao Wealth Management Institute