China now No 2 in think tanks

Updated: 2016-01-28 12:10

By Hua Shengdun in Washington(China Daily USA)

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Institutes ranked by how much they influence policy

China has the second-largest number of think tanks in the world and nine of them are among the top 150, according to a new study.

The rankings come in a report called Global Go To Index, which evaluates think tanks around the world, and was launched simultaneously from more than 80 international institutions including the UN and the World Bank on Wednesday.

Most Chinese think tanks were established between 2003 and 2012 and have become increasingly specialized over time, according to the Chinese Think Tank Report.

There are 435 think tanks in China as of 2015, followed by the UK with 288 and India with 280. The US is clearly in the lead in the rankings with 1,835, according to the survey.

It also reports that six Chinese think tanks are among the top 50 nongovernmental ones, and 18 of the top 60 think tanks in Asia are Chinese.

The Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS) is ranked 31st in the world, which is the highest ranking for any Chinese institution. Washington-based Brookings Institution has been at the top of the chart for four consecutive years.

It is the ninth year that the Think Tanks and Civil Society Programs (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania has released the index report, according to James McGann, director of TTCSP and editor of the Global Go To Index, said during the report's launch at the Wilson Center in Washington.

McGann said 4,677 journalists, policymakers, think tanks and private donors from 143 countries participated in the global rankings in the report. "The impact of a think tank over policymakers in government is one of the most important measures," he said.

China has an advantage in terms of quantity. For example, CASS has 38 departments, 180 virtual research centers and more than 4,000 researchers, whereas there are only about 5,000 researchers in Europe, according to Weekly Time.

"Though we have the numbers, there are still not so many high-quality think tanks which can have influence in the world," a Chinese scholar said.

The government should encourage more non-government think tanks by streamlining the registry and funding, said Peng Peng, senior researcher at Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences.

There is only one third of Chinese non-governmental think tanks among the 200 most influential Chinese think tanks, according to the Chinese Think Tank Report.

"Building up high-quality Chinese think tanks is part of our national strategy," said President Xi Jinping at a meeting in April 2013.

Pan Jialiang contributed to this story.

China now No 2 in think tanks