Ateneo School of Social Sciences (SOSS) Dean and Faculty in China for the China-led Belt and Road Initiative

Ateneo SOSS Faculty Delegation to China - From left to right: Stephanie Marie R. Coo, PhD (History), Alvin P. Ang, PhD (Economics), Marissa Maricosa A. Paderon, PhD (European Studies), Anna Mae Dela Cruz (Development Studies), Jane T. Yugioksing (Chinese Studies), SOSS Dean Fernando T. Aldaba, PhD, Ms Fan Wei (Officer from Division of Asian and African Confucius Institutes, Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban), Cynthia Liang, PhD (Confucius Institute, AdMU), Gilbert Jacob S. Que (Communications), Anne Marie D. Topacio (Psychology), Diana J. Mendoza, PhD (Political Science), Cornelia C. Soto, PhD (Education), and Czarina Saloma-Akpedonou, PhD (Sociology and Anthropology).

The Dean of the School of Social Sciences (SOSS), Dr Fernando T Aldaba, led a faculty delegation to Guangzhou and Beijing, China for an 11-day Study Program on the China-led “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)”. Dean Aldaba and the faculty delegation left on 28 May 2017 to meet scholars and experts and discuss current trends and developments as well as emerging issues on the China-led Belt and Road Initiative.

The Belt and Road Initiative or the “One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative” means the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The Silk Road Economic Belt brings together China, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe (the Baltic) by linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and West Asia and connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Indian Ocean. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road links China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.

The SOSS delegation participated in lecture-discussions on the Belt and Road Initiative given by experts from top universities in Guangzhou and Beijing. These include Sun Yat-Sen University and Jinan University in Guangzhou as well as Renmin University of China and Peking University in Beijing.

The delegation visited the Philippine Embassy and the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing. They also toured major cultural and heritage sites in Guangzhou and Beijing.


At the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing, China with Ms. Ll Hongyu, Deputy Director, Division of Asian and African Confucius Institutes (fifth from right)


The visit to the Philippine Embassy provided the SOSS delegation the opportunity to discuss with the Philippine Ambassador to China, Mr Chito Sto Romana, the opportunities and challenges brought about by the Belt and Road Initiative for the Philippines. A deeper understanding and appreciation of China as the world’s second largest economy was facilitated by the participation in the discussion by three Filipino foreign media correspondents based in China since the 1970s.

The visit to the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters was very informative and stimulating. The highlight of the visit was the interactive museum that houses cultural artefacts and historical records of China as well as exhibits on the Belt and Road Initiatives of Confucius Institutes across the globe.


At Sun Yat-Sen University in Guanzhou, China


The Belt and Road Initiative Study Program was organized by the Chinese Studies Program and funded by the Confucius Institute and the SOSS Dean’s Office at the Ateneo de Manila University. Joining Dean Aldaba in the program were representatives from the different departments and programs of the SOSS. Representing the Confucius Institute was Dr Cynthia Liang.

An international conference on China-led Belt and Road will be organized by the SOSS, Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies and Ateneo Chinese Studies Program. It is tentatively set in January 2018. Keynote speakers will include local and international experts on the Belt and Road. Papers presented at the conference will be peer-reviewed for a book publication.


At Renmin University of China in Beijng, China


For a brief write-up and pictures about the visit to Peking University, please go to this link:


At the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, China with Philippine Ambassador to PRC, Mongolia and DPR of Korea, Chito Sto Romana (seated next to Dean Aldaba), NBC News Beijing Bureau Chief Eric Baculinao (seated in red shirt) and retired CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime FlorCruz (seated in white shirt). Participated in the roundtable discussion but not in the picture was Mr Benjamin Lim, North Asia Specialist Correspondent, Thomson Reuters.


With Dr. Yiwei Wang, professor of International Relations at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing, China


With Prof. Deng Yongzhong, Associate Dean of International School, Jinan University in Guangzhou, China


With Dr. Zhian Zhang, Dean of School of Communication and Design at Big Data Communication Laboratory in Sun Yat-Sen University (University City campus)