The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), a leading Chinese think tank and research institution, has recently released its China Think Tank Report, the first of its kind in China, announcing the rankings of the country’s most influential think tanks.
Although most of these organizations work behind the scenes and are not well-known to the general public, they are very influential to the workings of the country. From politics to economy, from military to diplomacy, they employ the top experts and researchers and provide policymakers with consultations and advice.
Based on a public survey and opinions from experts, scholars, professionals and the media, the think tanks were ranked according to overall influence, professional influence and influence among the same types of think tanks.
A total of 27 think tanks emerged in the rankings, including 17 in Beijing, five in Shanghai and five in Jiangsu, Guangdong, Hainan and Jiangxi provinces.
The Development Research Center of the State Council topped the list of Chinese think tanks in terms of overall strength, followed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Peking University.
In the 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report, the most comprehensive ranking of the world’s top think tanks published by the University of Pennsylvania, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the China Institute of International Studies and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations made up China’s top 3, ranking 20th, 36th and 44th respectively.
Among all 6,826 think tanks in the world, there were 426 Chinese think tanks, the second-largest number of think tanks in the world only after the United States. Six of them appeared in the top 100 think tanks globally.
The following are the top 10 most influential think tanks in China, according to the rankings by SASS.
China Institute for Reform and Development 中国（海南）改革发展研究院
China Institute for Reform and Development [File photo]
Founded in 1991, China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD) is a public and non-profit research institution. As a think tank which aims to facilitate China's economic reform and development policy decision-making, it has been conducting forward-looking and independent research across important theoretical and practical issues in economic transition. The institute has established partnership with more than 20 international organizations and foreign institutions.