The Asia Society, one of the oldest U.S.-based organizations focused on U.S.-Asian ties, officially launched a new China Analysis Center in New York on Monday.
Founded with the support of John D. Rockefeller in 1956, the organization’s mission remains “to add light rather than heat to discourse in order to find pathways through the seemingly intractable challenges of our time”, has said Asia Society CEO Kevin Rudd at an inaugural conference. Monday’s conference titled “The Future of China: What It Means for Asia and the World”.
“We see ourselves as a think tank and a do tank. We are not in the business of thinking alone. Thought is the sound of a hand clapping; thinking and doing is the sound of two clapping hands,” said Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. The Mandarin speaker began his career as a China scholar, serving as an Australian diplomat in Beijing before entering Australian politics.
“We have always viewed our work as one that translates theory into practice, rather than producing a report in the vain hope that somewhere there will be someone in the world who will read it at some point,” he said. -he declares. The new China Analysis Center will operate under the Asia Society Policy Institute.
“You might ask,” Rudd asked, “Why do we need another Chinese center here in the United States?”
“The first,” he continued, “is that it is important to bring together the entire spectrum of China’s specialization under one roof in order to bring together the best integrated analysis of contemporary China there is.”
“There is no shortage of analyzes on the various aspects of China’s rise. What I find…is a lack of synthesis to pull together the threads of disparate analyzes into an integrated whole that can make sense to policy makers,” Rudd said.
“Therefore, the China Analysis Center will gather expertise on China’s domestic politics, China’s domestic economy, new developments in Chinese society and culture, rapid advances in Chinese technology, as well as the most recent developments in Chinese foreign security policy, and of course, China’s impact on the climate,” Rudd said.
“In the minds of Chinese leaders, all of these things are intertwined. Therefore, I think it is useful for other international leaders to have an integrated analysis of Chinese politics and politics in a way that also connects the part to the whole,” he said.
Second, Rudd continued, the new center will prioritize Chinese-language sources. “Much of the debate on China’s foreign and domestic policy is well ventilated by China’s own internal discourse, often freely available in its own public literature, assuming of course you know where to find it (and) assuming that you will make the effort to read original Chinese sources, so we intend to make maximum use of Chinese domestic journals, publications, newspapers and online information, as the Chinese system itself seeks to communicate to the Chinese Communist Party and to the Chinese people of new directions in politics, economics and foreign policy.
“That’s not to say we’ll believe everything we read, but it’s important to understand how the Chinese system speaks for itself. This is what we describe in the CCA as our ‘inside-out’ angle for looking at China,” he said.
Another hallmark of the China Analysis Center is “a vigorously objective analysis of the direction China is taking which” will be critical of Chinese policy whenever necessary, but also means bringing a critical approach to US policy, where we also deem it necessary.”
Speakers and panelists at the event included former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, as well as Wu Guoguang, senior fellow at the Stanford Center on China’s Economy and Institutions; Chris Johnson, president of political risk consultancy China Strategies Group; Ma Guonan, senior researcher on the Chinese economy at the Asia Society Policy Institute; Evan Medeiros, former Senior Asia Advisor to President Barack Obama and current Asian Studies Fellow at Georgetown University; and Rorry Daniels, CEO of the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Other panelists included Dr. Selwyn Vickers, CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK); Dr. Bob Li, MSK Medical Ambassador in China and Asia-Pacific; and Kate Logan, associate climate director at the Asia Society Policy Institute. Guests included business leaders Joe Tsai and Ray Dalio.
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