China's top college for senior Party officials and Harvard University jointly kicked off a forum Friday to scrutinize social development problems China is experiencing.
The two-day event was the first ever collaboration between the Central Party School (CPS) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Harvard.
The China Social Development Forum, attended by more than 50 scholars, will focus on social development problems such as health, education and housing, which the CPC views as the core content of building a harmonious socialist society.
"Through the forum, we can further mutual understanding, evolve better solutions and lay the foundations of future collaboration," said CPS vice president Wang Weiguang in his opening remarks.
"I hope the forum will achieve positive results which contribute to the building of China's harmonious society," he added.
Professor Barry Bloom, head of the Harvard School of Public Health, hoped the forum would mark the successful beginning of an informative and provocative dialogue "between scholars and policy makers of our two universities and countries."
"Social sector development is more than a means to an end," he said. "It is an end in itself."
He warned that there were concerns about the sustainability of China's rapid economic growth and its ability to cope with "a very complex set of challenges in social sector development".
"In an increasingly globalized world, China's development affects not only the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also many more people the world over," he said.
To date, the CPS has established academic relations with more than 30 countries and regions across the world and hosted more than 30 bilateral and multilateral seminars on fields including politics, economy, law, history and culture.