A growing number of Chinese think tanks have been ranked as “influential” in the world in the past decade, according to a report released on Friday.
Nine Chinese think tanks were included in a list of the world’s top think tanks in the 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, jointly published by the think thank and civil societies program at the Lauder Institute of University of Pennsylvania and the Think Tank Research Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in Shanghai.
The number compares with only six in the 2007 report, which listed 228 think tanks as the best in the world.
The 2015 report places China as the country with the second-largest number of think tanks, at 435. The United States had the most, with 1,835 think tanks.
Back in 2007, China ranked the 11th with 73 think tanks, and the US took first place with 1,776.
Think tanks in China have been emerging in many sectors of economy, international relations, culture and environment, said Wang Ronghua, honorary chairman of the Think Tank Research Center.
James McGann, director of the think thank and civil societies program at the Lauder Institute of University of Pennsylvania, said the development of think tanks in China has been greatly stimulated in industries such as energy, mining and pharmaceuticals, which are the major segments of the national economy.
McGann attributed the currently dynamic environment for Chinese think tanks partly to President Xi Jinping, who has emphasized the role of think tanks as catalysts for modernization and reform.
Experts said that the long-term healthy development of a country is closely related to mature and competitive think tanks, especially as globalization progresses and the relationships between countries and regions grow closer than ever.
“Think tanks have played a significant role in China’s development. Taking Shanghai as an example, developing and opening up Pudong, hosting the World Expo in 2010, and rendering partner assistance to certain provinces in western China were all first suggested by think tanks,” Wang said.
Wang also mentioned that Chinese think tanks are still weak in the study of some countries, especially developing countries.
He suggested that officials should have work experience in think tanks to establish better communication between them and government and boost the think tanks’ development.