China Review News published an article based on a book titled, Power Think Tanks (Daguozhiku), which was written by Wang Huiyao and Miao Lu.
According to the article, there are over 2,000 think tanks in China. All of them have three critical defects: the government influences them; they lack independence; and they are not recognized internationally. Compared to well-known global think tanks, these Chinese think tanks have a long way to go.
At present, most Chinese think tanks are government-run or university-affiliated. Private citizens run very few of them. It is the government itself that funds these government-run or university-run think tanks, directly or indirectly. It also determines the salaries and job titles of the researchers. Because of the dependence on the government, the government’s influence on the research they do is considerable. It is difficult for them to make any constructive recommendations. In most cases, these think tanks are actually the mouthpiece for government policies or they certify the validity of government policies. The article also cited the lack of transparency in government information without which no meaningful research can be conducted and also the lack of funding sources, since charitable donations are not common in China.
Source: China Review News, September 27, 2015