The 7th Global China Research Programme Working Seminar: The Rise of Chinese Think Tanks in the Belt and Road Initiative

By Dr Hak-yin Li | 6 October 2017 | The Chinese University of Hong Kong



Prof. Seanon Wong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Public Administration, moderated the 7th Global China Research Programme Working Seminar.

Dr Hak-yin Li received his PhD in politics and international relations at the University of Nottingham. He is also an alumnus of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik e.V. (the German Council on Foreign Relations). Dr Li’s research interests are in the fields of global governance, international relations, Chinese foreign policy, and Chinese and Hong Kong politics. His works have been published in the Journal of Contemporary China, Asian Politics and Policy, and East Asian Policy.

In his presentation, Dr Li demonstrated that a number of studies have been conducted on the need to employ track 2 (semi-official or non-official) channels in Chinese public diplomacy. In this Seminar, it was assumed that the rise of Chinese think tanks, is indeed part of the supporting mechanism to facilitate the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and that such track 2 channels may offer some flexibility in promoting the BRI and building up a foundation for cooperation between China and other countries. The discussion in this Seminar first focused on the uniqueness of Chinese think tanks when compared with those in the West. Second, an attempt was made to determine whether Chinese think tanks can really shape Chinese public diplomacy, as examined through the case of the BRI.

The Seminar also offered a comprehensive account of the roles played by Chinese think tanks, in shaping public diplomacy, and the challenges that they face in those roles. Twenty-five scholars, researchers, and students attended the Seminar. Dr Li had fruitful interactions with the participants.