Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Interaction key for think tanks

By Fu Ying (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-18 08:12

China's influence and executive power in the world are rising fast. At the same time, there are many big, difficult and urgent matters China has to address. China needs more high-quality think tanks to contribute their wisdom to help the government and Communist Party of China solve these challenges.

China has a complete system of research institutes. But there are big differences among them. Many economic studies institutes, through years of practice and accumulation, have good interactions with the decision-making departments. In contrast, the agencies studying international politics and strategies lag behind in serving the policymakers. The operating mechanism for these research institutes does not suit the modern decision-making process, and they cannot attract high-end professional talent either.

President Xi Jinping has emphasized the construction of a new type of think tank and improvement of the consulting system for policymaking. Several times since the 18th National Congress of CPC in November 2012, President Xi has raised the two tasks to the level of the nation's soft power and the modernization of China's governance system.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, and the Central Committee of the CPC, jointly issued "Opinions on Strengthening the Construction of a New Type of Think Tank with Chinese Characteristics" on Jan 20, which is regarded as a milestone for the further development of Chinese think tanks.

In his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan Island on March 28, Xi proposed forming "an exchange and cooperation net of think tanks", and raised specific requirements for the internationalization and influence of Chinese think tanks. China should brook no delay in strengthening the construction of think tanks specializing in international politics and strategies, and establish a new batch of think tanks on international strategies with Chinese characteristics.

International strategic decision-making is an extension of a country's basic politics and policies. The new type of international strategy think tanks should be independent and objective and act as responsible and valuable advisors, and should serve to explain policies to society and build consensuses, and they must have the capacity to conduct effective international communication and exercise strategic dialogues with their overseas counterparts.

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