XMUers Worldwide Chen Shaohua, Zhao Qinghua: Practice Earnestly,Playing Enthusiastically on World Arena

  • 2017/10/19
  • XMUers Worldwide
Chen Shaohua: Leading Statistician at the Development Research Department of World Bank, who is responsible for Global Poverty Monitoring Program, and researches on the fairness of income distribution worldwide and the effectiveness of policies and programs.

Brief Introduction:

Chen Shaohua: Leading Statistician at the Development Research Department of World Bank, who is responsible for Global Poverty Monitoring Program, and researches on the fairness of income distribution worldwide and the effectiveness of policies and programs. Her research results have been publicized at QJE and other mainstream international journals. Her papers have been quoted for more than 1200 times (according to the Google Scholar). She is also the person in charge of the global poverty monitoring part for many departments’ main reports in World Bank, such as WDR,WDI,GEP,GMR and so on. Chen Shaohua is also the author of the Anti-Poverty and Shared Prosperity published by the World Bank.

Zhao Qinghua: Senior Data scientist in the research department of World Bank, who has long been committed to the research on statistical techniques in economics. His research findings include PovMap(Poverty mapping), International Poverty Comparison Program and its online analytic system: PovcalNet, ODAT and the High-Speed Bayesian Estimation Technique and its application.

“Purity and love” is the first impression that the couple give us. Specifically, it is their devotion to profession, their love for their Alma mater and their care for their junior schoolmates. They always focus on XMU’s development and its discipline construction, try their best to seek any changes on their Alma mater ’s education and pay attention to their schoolmates’ studies. Although they occupy prestigious position in World Bank, deal with worldwide issues and play enthusiastically and intensely on the world arena, Chen Shaohua and Zhao Qinghua still care for their Alma mater and its students earnestly, as modest alumni with rich experience and outstanding success. They often instruct them without reservation, which moves us deeply.

Recalling the past: Pursue Excellence, Cherish the Reading Time with gratification


Chen Shaohua and Zhao Qinghua entered XMU in 1977 when China resumed the system of National College Entrance Examination. In that year, the enrollment rate was up to 200:1. Therefore, it is very uneasy but lucky for them to stand out from thousands of competitors. “We feel grateful for and cherish our study time.”  Recalling their college years, the couple still felt their hunger and thirst for the knowledge and their endeavors and efforts towards their studies. They encouraged their junior schoolmates to seize the time to work hard with gratification. Chen recalled that it was very usual to see girl students untrimmed and not dress so well, for they would rush to read in no time after the clock rang at six o’clock. They compared with each other for their studies. On campus, it was easy to see those who wake up early to read met with students who came back after learning too late at night. At that time, students only concentrated on their studies and led a simple life, with fewer temptations.


Zhao expressed that at that time the software and hardware of our school was not as advanced as today’s which is equal with the international teaching level now. However, all the faculties and students adhered firmly to XMU ’s spirit of “Pursue Excellence, Strive for Perfection” to study hard and strive for excellence. At that time, the whole campus only owned one computer with 32 internal memories. In order to satisfy students’ needs, it was often overloaded. Therefore, students treasured this computer more. “If the computer doesn’t have a rest, students will never sleep.”  Their teachers also had a “rapacious” appetite for the students. They unreservedly passed on to their students what they had learned with a high level and strict requirements. The huge pressure and strong sense of urgency inspired them to strive for perfection. 


Chen Shaohua said with emotion: “The four years that I have spent in Xiamen University benefit me all my life.”  He explained that the four-year education in XMU made its students compare with the graduate students in America, which is both the best reward for our Alma mater and the best gift given by her own students. What Xiamen University has given for her children is not only the knowledge but also the spirit of pursuing and loving for the knowledge, which encourages them to make unremitting efforts to explore the unknown world, to break through themselves, thus profoundly put the motto “Pursue Excellence, Strive for Perfection” into practice.


Focusing on Today: View Strategically,Instruct the Youth with Elderly Wisdom


As time goes by, the campus is growing stronger and stronger, more and more charming. However, it is not the great changes of the campus that touched the couple so much but the turns of the students. With fewer and fewer morning reading activities and students, it is uneasy to see pupils who are committed to study carefully and tranquilly. On the contrary, nowadays there are more and more students who are gorgeously dressed with fickle spirit and aimless soul. “Time did change!” Zhao Qinghua expressed that on the one hand, we could not deny that today’s children enjoy a much better life, no matter from the material aspect or the spiritual one. On the other hand, actually today’s competition is becoming fiercer with fewer chances left for the children. No one would distribute them to different departments. Instead, they have to think carefully for their careers. Faced up with numerous temptations and difficulties from outside, it is really hard for them to bury themselves into pure studies.


Facing their confusion,the couple encouraged them: “Do not worry so much about whether or not you can find a satisfied job. As soon as your ability suits, the job will come.” However, which kind of ability is required? How to promote one’s ability? As senior schoolmates, Chen Shaohua and Zhao Qinghua taught their junior ones some methods with their own experiences and wisdom. Working at World Bank, they could have many excellent opportunities to get in touch with the talents worldwide. Therefore, they know clearly which kind of talented people are needed in the job market and their differences and advantages. The couple tole them frankly: “Finding the suitable talented people is much harder than seeking a job.”  Being talented people, your ability should be comprehensive, including professional, interpersonal and cooperative ones.


 Chen Shaohua thought that with the increasing popularity of Internet, students should seize this opportunity to practice more and to exercise their professional competence. They should be more open and active to participate into various competitions which could help them not only know the development indoors and outdoors, but also make further understanding of which kinds of people are much more needed in the society. This kind of experience could help them better know their own weaknesses and to further improve themselves. Zhao Qinghua took “keep learning” as the key point to decode contemporary college students’ competitive stress. It is rather helpful for today’s students to acquire knowledge outside the classroom than only limit themselves into those taught by teachers. He recollected, “ after the Culture Revolution, there were much new knowledge for which many teachers were unknown. So they had to learn it by themselves.” The ability of using Argo and BASIC that he has kept using in his work was acquired by themselves during his sophomore summer vocation.


Expecting for the Future: Aim Highly Work Enthusiastically with a Patriotic Heart


  Under the circumstance of globalization, the development of international relations is becoming more and more complicated. Serving for the international groups, such as World Bank, people not only stand for themselves but also keep close ties with their country and its benefits. Chen Shaohua hoped that college students should not confine themselves to the present or only focus on their own losses and gains but watch for the world development and competence, pay a watchful eye on the benefits of our country and nation. She took it seriously that a country’s comprehensive strength plays a decisive role in the staff rate of different countries in international groups and this rate also influences the establishment of the international rules and the development interests of a country.


More seriously, “ We share a small staff proportion in the international groups. In the World Bank, staff with Chinese nationality only accounts for 1%.” Chen Shaohua added. According to this situation, they suggested that the college students should be ambitious for their future, take the responsibility for the development of the nation and its people and work enthusiastically with a patriotic heart. And international groups will offer a broad stage for those excellent people to show their talents and to seek more welfare for the people and more development for the world.


Chen Shaohua cherishes and loves her work very much. She thinks that working for World Bank could give her more opportunities to help the needed and strive for the justice and development chances for her own country. She said that to work well in the international groups, one not only needs to fully understand the situation in his own country but also to communicate with each other under the international consensus, in order to seek more discourse power for his own country in the international arena.

 Take her own experience in World Bank for Global Poverty Monitoring for example. Chen Shaohua shared one of her experiences. The World Bank once thought that now that the total development amount of China has became extremely large, it did not belong to the poverty country and didn’t need to enjoy the World Bank’s aids. However, she knew that though there is a large amount in total quantity and it is not enough per capita. The number of the poverty-stricken population is still large. Poverty alleviation is still a daunting task for China. Therefore, she redoubled her efforts to research, transfer, analyse and summarize the data to prove this situation, thus saving this favourable development policies for our country. At the end of their speech, they encouraged all the students present to set lofty goals with great confidence, take the responsibility for our age and realize their own value with patriotic hearts. They said sincerely that all the troubles and difficulties will pave the way for your success, if you persist.


Just like the dedicated professors of XMU in 1977 who spared no efforts to teach their students unreservedly, Chen Shaohua and Zhao Qinghua were eager to share their experience and understanding with their junior schoolmates. Their earnest and sincerity moved the interviewers greatly. During this interview, they never mentioned their achievements but always focused on the student development, the college construction and the nation’s future. Their love for their profession and career acted as a stream that run across people’s body, purifying our heart and inspiring our soul. “Being earnest is the root of every deed” Chen’s word is simple while serves as a wake-up call to every XMUer.


Advisor: Zhang Bowen, Li Jiayi, Liu Zhonghua;

Editor:  Tan Xulu, School of Architecture and Civil Engineering