The rising influence of thinkers and think tanks in China


Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, think tanks have become increasingly important to assessing and crafting domestic and foreign policy in China. What are the leading think tanks in China and who are the key players in these institutions? What are the dynamics between the Chinese government and think tanks? Are China’s efforts to promote new types of think tanks likely to succeed?

In “The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China” (World Scientific Publishing Company, 2017), Cheng Li presents a multi-faceted examination of think tank development in China. He introduces prominent Chinese thinkers, analyzes the factors contributing to the rapid rise of Chinese think tanks, and delves into the complex interactions between the government and think tanks in China’s policymaking process.

On July 20, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy and the Penn Wharton China Center co-hosted a discussion on “The power of ideas: The rising influence of thinkers and think tanks in China,” featuring Cheng Li, director and senior fellow of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. A panel of experts from academia and think tanks shared their insights on the topic.

Above: Cheng Li
Above: Wei Tian, Ning Fang, Lili Wang, Peng Yi and Cheng Li.