Chinese Think Tanks, Policy Advice and Global Governance

Indiana University Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business Working Paper No. 21

32 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2012

See all articles by James G. McGann

James G. McGann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 1, 2012


Soon after leaving his post in the Chinese government, Zeng Peiyan, a former Chinese vice premier, was elected chairman of the executive council of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), a high-level think tank that was established 2010 in Beijing. The official press release and the state sponsored media in China announced and then anointed this new organization as "China's top think tank" and a "super think tank." A number of other former high level government officials were recruited to serve on the Board and the think tank was launched with great fanfare with think tanks and policymakers being invited to the inaugural conference last Spring. CCIEE's initial research agenda is ambitious and includes the continuing financial crisis, the emergence of China and the new world financial order, the strategic cooperation between China and the United States, the decision-making systems of foreign governments and international organizations including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization and finally, the role of think tanks in formulating government economic policy. Other Chinese think tanks such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations have dramatically increased their profiles at international meetings and expanded targeted outreach activities to think tanks around the globe. This paper will attempt to chronicle the rise of Chinese think tanks on the national and international stage. The paper will also attempt to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese think tanks in the domestic and international political context. Finally, the research attempts to make some comparisons to think tanks in other emerging powers such as India and Brazil.

Suggested Citation

McGann, James G., Chinese Think Tanks, Policy Advice and Global Governance (March 1, 2012). Indiana University Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business Working Paper No. 21. Available at SSRN: or

James G. McGann (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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