Academician Qian Xuhong shares insights on wisdom of Laozi’s thinking

A delegation led by Qian Xuhong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, president of the East China Normal University (ECNU) visited City University of Macau (CityU) today (7) and received a warm welcome from Rector Jun Liu. Prof. Qian Xuhong delivered a fascinating lecture on “Laozi’s Thinking” during his visit and shared his insights from the perspective of a scientist. He also discussed the relationship between “Laozi’s thinking” and “quantum thinking” and how it can be applied in understanding the contemporary society and the future. This lecture allowed faculty and students to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the wisdom of the ancient Chinese philosopher.

In his speech, Rector Jun Liu warmly welcomed Prof. Qian and gave an overview on his exceptional academic contribution. By having this special lecture, he aimed to help students and faculty gain a multidisciplinary understanding of the essence of “Laozi’s Thinking.”

Prof. Qian shared his insights on his book, the Thinking of Laozi. This book stands out from conventional interpretations, as it takes a multidisciplinary approach and spans past to future from both Eastern and Western perspectives. Through this, it delves into the wisdom of Laozi from the fields of natural science, technology, and engineering. He also shared the experiences behind writing the book.

Prof. Qian delved into the vision and wisdom insides Laozi’s philosophy.  Laozi, founder and central figure of Daoism, has had his philosophy and teachings, including the concept of being and non-being, naturalness, and virtues such as sincerity, belief, and benevolence, translated and spread across various languages for thousands of years. His book, the Tao Te Ching, is the second most translated classic in the world, and is characterized by duality, superposition, entanglement, uncertainty, and indivisibility.

Prof. Qian highlighted how Daoism serves as a bridge between being and non-being, connecting East and West, secularism and religion, and the material and spiritual worlds. He compared “Laozi’s Thinking” and “quantum thinking”, emphasizing how these two systems of thinking are crucial in the process of "mind training" and share strong similarities.

Prof. Qian quoted Bruce Lee’s philosophy of “Be Like Water” and discussed how laymen understand and interpret Laozi’s wisdom. He also mentioned Nobel Prize laureates in different fields who have been influenced by Laozi’s philosophy, highlighting the high level of respect and reverence that his teachings hold in academia. Lastly, Prof. Qian encouraged students to practice meditation and read Tao Te Ching to enhance the sense of happiness and appreciate Laozi’s teachings.

During the Q-and-A session, students shared their observations and asked Prof. Qian for guidance on how to interpret their confusion through the lens of Laozi’s philosophy. Prof. Qian patiently provided guidance and insights to the students. Rector Jun Liu also inquired about how Laozi’s philosophy can be applied to steer educational reform and cultivate outstanding talents that meet the modern society’s requirements. Prof. Qian proposed the concept of “beyond limitation”, suggesting that in this new era, education must go beyond disciplinary boundaries and cultivate students’ expertise in a specific field through general education in junior level. He said this approach will promoting cross-discipline learning, thereby transcend traditional subject boundaries. The lecture was well received.




ECNU delegation toured the campus environment and teaching facilities. The two sides had an in-depth discussion on talent cultivation, program development, and international exchanges. Going forward, both parties will collaborate on program and research in fields such as data science, artificial intelligence, health, fintech, country studies, urban planning, and city competitiveness. They will also work together to cultivate outstanding international students through exchanges and learning opportunities. Additionally, they will strengthen cooperation with universities in Portuguese-speaking countries to promote the dissemination and education of Chinese language, and jointly develop programs for international Chinese language educators to contribute to the development of international Chinese linguistics.

Other ECNU participants included Wu Wei, party secretary and master of the Meng Xiancheng College; Ren Kailei, director of the Alumni Affairs Office and the Office of Educational Development Fund; Li Zhicong, director of the Basic Education and Lifelong Education Development Department; Du Zhenyu, head of the International Cooperation and Exchange Division (Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs); Li Yanlei, head of the University Affairs Office and the Cooperation and Exchange Office; Wang Fei, assistant to the head of the International Cooperation and Exchange Division (Office of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs). Dean Lixian Jin from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Academic Leader Sun Pei from Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness, Program Coordinator Peng Jun from the School of Education and Director Kathy Che Ka I of the Rector’s Office also took part in the meeting.