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2019 Forum on Development of New-type Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics Held at CELAP

On March 11th, in conjunction with Guangming Daily, CELAP hosted the Forum on Development of New-type Think Tanks with Chinese Characteristics 2019. The forum represented the academy’s efforts to facilitate the establishment of new think tanks for assisting China in breaking new ground in major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for the new era, in line with the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics and guidelines emanating from the 19th CPC congress.

Prof. Cao Wenze, Executive Vice President of CELAP, and Mr. Lu Xiangao, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Guangming Daily, attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Prof. Liu Jingbei, Vice President of CELAP, served as moderator of the ceremony.

Prof. Cao Wenze delivering a speech

In his speech, Prof. Cao noted that in a rapidly evolving world where the balance of power among countries is shifting in complex ways, China, now in an important period fraught with strategic opportunities, is faced with unprecedented challenges in terms of striking a balance between making reforms and maintaining stability, and navigating increasing complexities in world affairs. He said as efforts are being invested to establish new think tanks with Chinese characteristics in response to these challenges, it is important to ensure that the advisory agencies should stay committed to informing government decision-making through pragmatic and pioneering research, and serving as a forward-thinking driving force for China’s development and progress. He expressed confidence in building CELAP into a one of such think tanks by leveraging its strengths in teaching, research and consultancy as a center of excellence for training government leaders. He listed five measures that CELAP would implement in order to attain that goal. First, identifying and collecting worthwhile resources for research from its participants from government departments across the country. Second, establishing channels of exchange and communication to generate constructive advice. Third, encouraging participants to interact and share best practices. Fourth, providing more intensive guidance for participants and facilitating synergy between teaching, research and consultancy. Fifth, developing workable guidelines based on China’s existing practices to inform future work, and making China more widely known and loudly heard by the rest of the world. Measures include stepping up efforts to communicate the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics to the outside world and conducting further research on China’s international communication strategies.

Lu Xiangao delivering a speech

Lu pointed out that President Xi’s thought on diplomacy offers guiding principles for China’s major country diplomacy with distinctive Chinese futures. He identified three welcome changes in China’s diplomatic efforts in 2018. The first was a new light in which the Chinese government was viewed by visiting dignitaries: a government committed to playing its part in building the world into a community of shared future for mankind. The second was readiness to take on responsibilities to shape a new global governance system, and inject a dose of confidence to a changing world filled with uncertainties. The third was opening a new chapter for the “Belt and Road” initiative, with more concrete benefits to participating countries and attracting increasing interest and popularity amongst the international community. He noted that new think tanks with Chinese characteristics as a key component of China’s soft power and international competitiveness have a pivotal role to play in facilitating China’s nation branding, promoting the Chinese leadership’s governance philosophy, and making China’s voice more clearly and loudly heard by and resonate more strongly with the international community. Lu also introduced the Guangming’s practices in creating a new media group in the form of a think tank suited to the smart media era.