A trademark of the ZDS Peking is the so-called ZDS Salons, rather informal roundtable discussions in which a very open and academic culture of conversation is cherished. Here great importance is attached to the tradition of academic freedom, which has always played a weighty role in Peking University's history.
The Salons take place at frequent intervals, always on a certain academic topic. After an introduction given by a ZDS member, there is very often a lively interdisciplinary discussion. Guest speakers, e.g., from the fields of literature and culture, are invited to the Salons, too. For example, in September 2013 the Chinese author YU Hua discussed his works with the ZDS members.