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China's think tanks (II)

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By Lee Seong-hyon

Under the Chinese political landscape, the limits of Chinese think tanks derive from their mandate to provide logic to the government policies, and therefore a lack of autonomy from the state. This partially explains, for instance, why efforts by Korean think tanks and academic experts to persuade Beijing to reconsider its retaliation against Seoul (for hosting the THAAD battery system) were unavailing from the very beginning.

A person who participated in some of those closed-door discussions, and who tried to reason with his Chinese counterparts, later summed up his experience as like "talking to a wall." That is not to say that such communication efforts are unnecessary. The point is that they should keep this in mind when they sit down with the Chinese. After all, the challenge for Chinese think tanks is how to achieve independence and diversity of views, comparable to their overseas peer institutions.

Having said that, in addition to the previously mentioned CICIR, there are a few other major Chinese think thanks deserving our attention. One is the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Established in 1977, CASS ranks top among the Chinese think tanks each year. It is also........

© The Korea Times

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