One Day in the Charhar Institute | Understanding China’s Public Diplomacy

On October 28, Yenching Academy students and teachers met Chinese diplomats and international relations experts at the Charhar Institute in the Shiyuan Garden and gained new insights into China’s public diplomacy. The thirty-people YCA group had good talks with the following renowned figures in the area: Ambassador Zhang Jianguo, Secretary General of the Charhar Institute; Ambassador Qiu Guohong, Charhar Institute’s Chief Researcher of Northeast Asia Affairs; Da Wei, Director of the Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS) at Tsinghua University and senior research fellow of the Charhar Institute; and Tang Xiaoyang, professor in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University and senior research fellow of the Charhar Institute.

Ambassador Zhang Jianguo extended his warm welcome to the YCA delegation and introduced the history and latest development of the Charhar Institute. Founded in October 2009, the Charhar Institute is a non-governmental and non-partisan think-tank focused on foreign policy and international relations committed to creating a globally influential, independent think-tank in China. Huang Xuesong, Deputy Head of Student Affairs of Yenching Academy, introduced the YCA master’s program in China Studies and our visiting students. The Yenching Scholars then raised questions on Security Council reform, China’s development assistance to Africa, the status quo and challenges of China’s public diplomacy, and China’s international academic exchange.

The YCA group and experts had lunch together, enjoying the picturesque Shiyuan Garden view in the autumn warmth and extending their talks. Our Yenching Scholars had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Chinese diplomats and experts, resulting in a heightened comprehension of China’s public diplomacy. They developed fresh perspectives by delving into the practical aspects of diplomatic practice, transcending the confines of abstract texts in the book.

Kwong Hoi Shan (2023 Cohort, Hong Kong): I greatly appreciated this experience. I had talks in person with Chinese diplomats and top experts on public diplomacy. I had a deep understanding of China’s diplomatic philosophy and its ardent efforts for common prosperity in the world.

Koen Smeets (2022 Cohort, the Netherlands): I was grateful to receive instructions from China’s top IR scholars in this event. As a researcher focusing on the Sino-American relations, I think it great to meet Prof. Da Wei in person and raise questions I’m interested in. He impressed us with his patience and insights on all our questions.

Zachary Black (2023 Cohort, USA): It was a great opportunity to visit the Charhar Institute. We had a chance to listen to Ambassador Zhang Jianguo, Ambassador Qiu Guohong, Prof. Da Wei, and Prof. Tang Xiaoyang about China’s diplomacy. And we also had intimate conversations with them. I’m really looking forward to another visit like this.

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