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Fudan University opens Belt & Road research institute

By HE WEI in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-05 18:44

Shanghai's Fudan University has opened a research institute focused on the Belt and Road Initiative, with the aim to provide policy insight and intellectual support to Chinese diplomacy in the new era.

The Fudan Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance is an answer to President Xi Jinping's thinking on global governance and a substantial move to promote the initiative, according to Jiao Yang, the university's Party chief and director of the institute.

"Universities and research institutes have much to do to implement and push ahead with Xi's global vision, especially the Belt and Road Initiative," she said.

Jiao said Fudan University has been an active member of the Belt and Road Think Tank Cooperation Alliance, which brings together experts to discuss policies and initiative projects.

The new institute should "groom talent accordingly and yield first-class results" that contribute to diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, added Wang Yajun, a senior official with the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The institute comprises eight branches, with research ranging from international security, global governance, and trade and investment to law, population, people-to-people exchanges and international communications.

Experts have called for concerted efforts in research orientation among a variety of like-minded groups, as well as a "question-oriented" approach when the institute is up and running.

"The think tank should refrain from simply providing literary reviews and publishing academic articles," said Du Yubo, head of the China Association of Higher Education. "Instead it should focus on issues derived from reality and aim to provide tangible solutions."

Zheng Bijian, head of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, added that Fudan University can use interdisciplinary resources to promote domestic and international cooperation as well as improve international policy exchanges, to help lay a foundation to promote the initiative.

The institute is being sponsored by China CEFC Energy, which has pledged 5 million yuan ($753,400) a year to bolster its development.

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