I am very honored to be appointed as Honorary Dean of the Institute of International Relations, Tsinghua University and Adjunct Professor of the Academy of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University. With the strong support of teachers and students, we have established the Center for International Strategy and Security of Tsinghua University (CISS).
For me, being able to work in Tsinghua University is both a glory and a heavy responsibility. Tsinghua, a historical university, enjoys a high reputation overseas. As is known to every Chinese who is familiar with our history, Tsinghua is an inseparable part of China’s contemporary history and has played a decisive role in the destiny of our nation and our people. Today, along with the prosperity of China, Tsinghua University has made great progress and become a world-renowned university.
In the meantime, China has also made remarkable achievements. Nowadays, China’s influence has already spread beyond her boundary. Nowadays, the world has entered an important stage of transformation, and it is a multi-transformation of epoch-making significance. The theme of the world, which is “Peace and Development” has not changed, but under this theme the world is undergoing rapid changes and transformation. Unlike in the past, China is now at the Center of these changes. This special and close connection between China and the world has raised challenges of overcoming difficulties in China's research work on international issues. Tsinghua University, as the best university in China, features profound history in researches on international affairs as well as abundant interdisciplinary research resources. In order to tackle problems and difficulties our country encounter in researches on international affairs with the support of Tsinghua University , I propose to build a new research think-tank CISS in Tsinghua University.
China is a latecomer in the construction of think-tanks, most of our think-tanks were developed after the reform and opening-up. Thanks to those years of hard work, we have caught up with other countries in numbers, but there is still a big gap in quality. I have been engaged in diplomacy for decades and have access to many think-tanks. In my opinion, in the field of international issues, a good think-tank should possess three characteristics:
First, thirst-quenching. In the field of diplomacy, good think-tank products should keep pace with the development needs of the country and serve corresponding foreign policies. The research achievements of think-tank should be both realistic and specific. To put it plainly, it should be “thirst-quenching”. The report of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasized the role of think tanks, while the report of the 19th National Congress clearly proposed the construction of new think-tanks with Chinese characteristics. China’s think-tanks are crucial in achieving the goals of making policy decisions scientifically and democratically in accordance with the law.
Second, speaking-out. In recent years, we share the feeling that there are some problems in communication between China and the rest of the world. On the one hand, the outside world is hungry for China’s information and expects to know more about China. On the other hand, biased and misleading information about China are everywhere. This, of course, is due to ideological differences, but also to the issue of how China could provide more and better information internationally. China’s think-tanks can do a lot in this regard. We need to enhance the ability to shape our own image, namely, the ability to speak out , especially to the international community.
Third, serving. In the field of international issues, think tanks are not national decision-making or executive organs, but they need to stand in the shoes of decision-makers in order to help realize scientific decision-making. In addition, think-tanks are not “ivory towers”. Studying international issues requires close attention to diplomatic reality and demands in all times. I believe that think-tanks on international issues are mainly policy-serving institutes for the state and society. Only by adhering to the political direction of serving the Party, the country and the people can think-tanks accurately build their research and judgment ability as well as policy recommendations ability.
I hope that CISS, with the support of Tsinghua University, will fully embody the three characteristics in its own think-tank construction and strive to make it one of the most influential think-tanks in China, serving the Party and the country's foreign strategic issues.
CISS bears two main missions: One is to track and study issues such as world order, strategy pattern, security situation and international relations to make judgments and suggestions for the formulation and implementation of national foreign policy; the other is to introduce, explain and disseminate national development ideas and basic propositions of relevant domestic and foreign policies through international exchanges and cooperation of various forms.
I hope that CISS will focus on strategic and security issues and diplomacy and international relations issues, take major strategic and security issues such as global order, international security governance, artificial intelligence and national security as main research interests. With the Center’s own research strength at its core, we shall build a special expert committee and joint research team based on the principle of multi-level collocation, attract famous scholars from both inside and outside the University to provide decision-making reference, supervise research work, and absorb active researchers from inside and outside the University into the joint research team to carry out specific research works.
Tsinghua University's motto of "Self-discipline and Social Commitment" is well-known overseas, and the school spirit of "Actions speak louder than words" is widely respected. Her reputation has attracted numerous students coming from afar. As a new member of Tsinghua, I believe, with the strategic guidance of university leaders of facing the international academic frontier, facing the major strategic demands of the country and striving to create high-level research works, as well as with the full support of rigorous and enlightening teachers, the work of CISS is bound to be carried out smoothly. I’m looking forward to making progress together with you on Tsinghua Campus.