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China's think tanks and universities set for shakeup

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Subject

Reforms of China's think tanks and universities.

Significance

President Xi Jinping is moving to centralise policy advice into a closer circle around the Party centre and reduce the influence of 'Western ideas'. Henceforth, fewer initiatives in the area of political reform will originate from the academy, while to-be-developed think tanks will be more directly connected to the central Party and state administration.

Impacts

  • Philosophy and social sciences are the targets; the impact on technology and hard science will be relatively limited.
  • Academics' and other intellectuals' contact with foreign counterparts will face closer scrutiny; foreign travel may become more difficult.
  • China will seek to use newly branded think tanks 'offensively' to influence international policy discourse and regimes.
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