Qiushi Theory published a research paper on think tank development in China. The Counsellor’s office of the state council put together a research team following the recent directions that Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang gave on think tank development. The paper stated that think tanks are a part of a country’s soft power. The role that Chinese think tanks are capable of playing, however, does not match the country’s growing economic status in the world. The project team studied the development of think tanks in China, how they compare with the renowned think tanks in the world, and the problems they face. The team provided recommendations for the future outlook of the think tanks’ development, how they can “increase their involvement in the development of public policy, as well their role in making the government policy process more scientific and democratic.”
As to the challenges that the paper highlighted, in 2012, there were 429 think tanks in China compared to 6,600 in the world. Of the top 50 think tanks in the world, only 3 of them were in China. While close to 90 percent of the think tanks in China are government sponsored, the rest of the think tanks, which are private, have barely any influence. Meanwhile the quality of the research of the think tanks in China is generally poor. They lack mechanisms for evaluation and recognition. In addition they lack a fair, competitive, and tolerant environment in which to work.
Source: Qiushi Theory, August 8, 2014