The noted philosopher Gan Yang launched a new Confucian Studies Centre at Sun Yat-sen University in Canton. The centre is within a new school, 博雅学院， that seems to be partly inspired by classical liberal arts curricula in the United States and includes all sorts of classical learning, Chinese and Western. The new centre is meant to serve as a forum for scholars from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. But Gan said that it was also intended to “create a standing for Chinese civilization commensurate with the standing of the country/state” 创造与国家地位相称的中国文明地位. A Centre for the Study of Confucian Culture already exists at Fudan University.
In the 1980s, Gan Yang specialised in Western philosophy and translated, among others, Paul Ricoeur. In the 1990s, when he was at Hong Kong University for some time, he became close to what came to be known as the New Left (the circle of Cui Zhiyuan) and interested in political economy, but at the same time pursued research on the history of liberalism in China.