South African Diplomat Conferred Adjunct Professorship in Fujian China
4 May 2016
The Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) conferred Dr Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Middle East with an Adjunct Professorship. The Professorship has been conferred by the Faculty of Law and Humanities. FAFU was founded in 1938 as a Public University and is today ranked amongst the leading Universities in China, with a student population of over 30, 000, comprising of eight faculties.
Photo: Dr Sooklal is pictured with Prof Lan Siren, President of FAFU
Dr Sooklal has had a long standing association with China spanning over 30 years. This relationship has included both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Chinese history, culture and philosophy, which continued through his Academic tenure at the University of South Africa and Durban Westville (Kwa Zulu Natal) which focused on Oriental Studies. Since joining Government the major part of Dr Sooklal’s responsibilities have been focused on Asia and the Middle East including overseeing relations with China.
It is in recognition of this longstanding relationship with China, the FAFU invited Dr Sooklal to become an Adjunct Professor of the University. The President of the University, Prof LAN Siren in his letter inviting Dr Sooklal to receive the Adjunct Professorship stated that, “Today we consider it a most special privilege and a great honor to invite you to be Adjunct Professor at the College of Humanities and Law at our university, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China.”
Photo: Dr Sooklal is pictured with Prof Wang, Vice President of FAFU
Prof LAN Siren summed up Dr Sooklal's diplomatic association with China as follows “….As a visionary senior diplomat and in your capacity as the Deputy Director- General in charge of Asia and Middle East affairs in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Your Excellency has been promoting a wide range of international engagements and cooperation between China and South Africa. Your contributions to the friendship between both countries has long been acknowledged by our respective Governments and as a well – known expert in Chinese history and philosophy, with your expertise in oriental history, especially in Chinese history, Your Excellency has been actively promoting the bilateral relations between China and South Africa.”
At the induction Ceremony held on 4 May at the University, Dr Sooklal delivered a keynote address entitled China-South Africa Relations: A Win-Win Partnership. The lecture was attended by over 250 students, academics and members of the local Government authorities.
During his visit to the University, Dr Sooklal also held discussions with the University authorities in further strengthening ties, including enhancing collaborative programs between FAFU and Higher Education Institutions and Think Tanks in South Africa.