The Asia Institute will cosponsor a seminar in Los Angeles entitled “North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and Prospects for Peace” at which we hope to engage in a thoughtful debate on how to move beyond the dangerous policies towards the Korean Peninsular that have been pursued in Washington D.C. over the last twenty years.
Please join us:
Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 PM PST
Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Link: Prospects for Peace
Director Emanuel Pastreich visited Shanghai and Beijing at the end of January, 2018, as part of a joint research project of the Asia Institute and the Future Consensus Institute (Seoul) on global think tanks. Pastreich spoke about strategies for recovering China’s own tradition of think tanks on a panel with the heads of major Chinese think tanks such as CCG (Center for China and Globalization), Institute of World Development, National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University and the China Development Research Foundation. As noted in the article below at CHINA.ORG, Pastreich stressed the tradition of Confucian academies in China which played a major role in education and policy since the Tang Dynasty.
By Wu Jin
“The sounds of winds, rains and recitations are in no ways escaping my ear and the family, state and earthly affairs have never failed to draw my concern.”
This tenet, written by Gu Xiancheng, an ancient Chinese scholar at Donglin Academy, became an aspirational guideline among the intellectuals who had to put up with a corruption-riddled society and face a falling Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The academy, established in 1111 by famous Confucian philosophers Cheng Hao and Cheng Yi, fell apart only 18 years later. After studying his predecessors’ ideas and vision, Gu revived the academy a few decades before the collapse of the decadent Ming.
According to Emanuel Yi Pastreich, director of the Asia Institute and an American Sinologist, the Donglin Academy served as a prototype for contemporary Chinese think tanks, hundreds of years before the founding of many American think tanks at the end of World War II.
Pastreich made his remarks on Jan. 30 at a symposium held in Beijing. As part of the global release of the 11th edition of the “Go to Global Think Tank Index,” involving the efforts of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania, the symposium briefed the audience on the ranking of think tanks worldwide and was followed by a panel discussion on why think tanks matter.
According to the ranking, the Brookings Institution (United States), the French Institute of International Relations (France) and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States) were the top three think tanks around the world in terms of comprehensive research competence and influence.
The China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, ranked 29th, was the leading Chinese think tank, followed by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which secured the 38th position on the top 100 list.
“The annual ranking is dedicated to improving the research capabilities of the think tanks while they are serving for policy makers in national, regional and theoretic dimensions,” said He Yuping, general manager of the Penn Wharton China Center.
During the symposium, TTCSP Director James G. McGann addressed the audience via video, saying he is grateful to partners around the world for the whole scene program, which helped make the global community of think tanks a reality.
The history of modern think tanks goes back to the end of WWII in the United States, when the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace played a pivotal role in passage of the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention and the Brookings Institution put forward recommendations which helped shape the Marshall Plan.
In recent years, think tanks have been mushrooming in different countries with varying commitments. In Mexico, the think tank Ethos created a comic strip to highlight for younger generations the prevalent corruption that has affected the country.
In Africa, the think tank ACCORD, which became the first African NGO in history to address the U.N. Security Council, has played an integral role in conflict resolution and peacemaking activities across the continent.
During the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, the Institute of Development Studies from the U.K. led the development of the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform and was later rewarded with the Economic and Social Research Council’s Outstanding International Impact Prize for its rapid and effective response during the epidemic.
“Over 160 organizations in about 100 cities around the world join in together to host locally produced programs that is to explore why think tank matters,” said McGann. “I believe they are critically important.”
“But to remain relative and competitive, they need to adapt and transform their strategies, structures and operations, providing innovative and excellent ideas to remain the central mission of think tanks,” he added.
According to He, the world today is facing a host of serious crises, such as shortages of water and food as well as the many war-torn regions of the globe.
Moreover, He said, the rise of populism against globalization has introduced huge uncertainty for the future.
In dealing with these challenges, the voices of credible organizations count.
According to Ding Yifan, senior research fellow at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, these outbreaks of populism may bring people to realize the importance of think tanks.
His idea was echoed by Fang Jin, deputy secretary general of the China Development Research Foundation, saying that think tanks should be valued for their professionalism, neither flattering nor following suit, at a time when superficial and dubious reporting is supposedly sweeping across social media.
In this challenging media environment, people who are bewildered by the rumors of distorted news in cyberspace are searching for truth, so they have begun looking to prestigious media outlets, Fang said.
According to Liu Qian, managing director of the Greater China region at The Economist Group, the magazine’s content subscriptions are estimated to grow by 30 percent amid these mounting uncertainties and challenges.
A book named the “Global Think Tanks,” jointly written by Miao Lu, the deputy director and secretary-general of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a Beijing-based think tank, and Wang Huiyao, chairman of the CCG, was released during the symposium.
The Asia Institute opened it Hanoi office on Friday, December 14, 2018, complete with a series of speeches by dignitaries and a symposium on Vietnam’s importance.
NguyễnThị Thu Hường
Head of Division of Scientific Management and International Cooperation
Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies
The Asia Institute
The Asia Institute
NguyễnThị Thu Hường
What led you to plan for an Asia Institute office in Vietnam?
The decision to open an office in Hanoi for Asia Institute has tremendous historical significance. We have witnessed many efforts to integrate Vietnam into some abstract international order before, and international institutions have served their limited role. But especially with regards to the United States, or other developed nations, none of the institutions leading those exchanges have treated Vietnam as an equal, or imagined that Vietnam itself can be a central player in a larger architecture for peace and the betterment of humanity.
NguyễnThị Thu Hường
Why do you think Vietnam will play such a critical role? What led you to this realization?
When I started my undergraduate studies at Yale University in 1983, I wanted to study Vietnamese, but there were no classes offered. Ultimately, I decided to study Chinese and to focus on Asia. That work would also lead to studying Japanese and Korean for many years and research and advocacy throughout Northeast Asia.
I wanted to study Vietnamese since high school because I was aware of the tremendous damage that the United States had done to Vietnam, and the blind cruelty that United States policy supported. The causes were diverse, but part of the reason lay with the total ignorance about Vietnam as a nation. People did not know that Vietnam had a proud history or that it had been subject to brutal colonialism. That ignorance meant that it was easy for them to accept myths and fictions.
We still have this problem even today at international think tanks. American experts talk about Vietnam buying weapons systems, or being part of a free trade system, but they know nothing about Vietnam’s tremendous tradition of good governance, about its intellectual tradition and its art and literature dating back thousands of years. They may suggest how Vietnam can adopt Western policies, but they will never imagine that diplomatic policies of the Ly Dynasty could be helpful to Europe or the United States. They have not even started to consider what treasures lie in Vietnam’s history.
We are extremely excited to launch the Vietnam office of the Asia Institute now. We see the tremendous intellectual vigor of Vietnamese scholars, government officials and students as a tremendous blessing. We expect to gain many inspiring ideas about what directions Asia, and the world, can go from our friends here.
NguyễnThị Thu Hường
What is it about Vietnam that suggests it is ready to play such a role?
Invitation to the Opening of the Asia Institute Vietnam Office
Friday January 12, 2017 (10 AM – 11:30 AM)
Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS)
The Asia Institute announces the opening of the Asia Institute Vietnam Office in Hanoi on Friday, January 12, 2018. This office will be run in partnership with the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) of the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture.
Vietnam has emerged as one of the most dynamic nations in Asia, astonishing the international community with its economic vitality, its intellectual vigor and its commitment to building a rules-based order in Asia.
As Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia play an increasingly important role in global governance and in cultural and scholarly exchange, Vietnam will serve as a critical bridge between nations and as a platform for deep and long-term cooperation at all levels.
The Vietnam office of the Asia Institute is located in the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) and will work closely with Vietnamese experts in a broad range of fields. We will start monthly lectures on critical issues for Asia that offer a unique opportunity for dialogue.
Responding to Vietnam’s new intellectual openness, the Asia Institute invites everyone to join us in this exciting project and to offer us suggestions as to how we can improve our work in the future so promote real integration and cooperation in Vietnam, and throughout the region.
The director of the Vietnam office of the Asia Institute will be Professor Jung Woojin, a founding member of the Asia Institute currently serving as a visiting professor at the Vietnam National University Social Science & Humanities.
You are cordially invited to attend our opening ceremony on Friday January 12, 2017 (10 AM – 11:30 AM).
The opening ceremony will be held at
The Asia Institute Vietnam Office at the
Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) http://en.vicas.org.vn
Hanoi 32 Hao Nam, O Cho Dua, Dong Da, Hanoi Tel: (84-4) 8519570 (ext. 303)
Opening Remarks by distinguished figures
“Vietnam’s role in the international community”
(Emanuel Pastreich Founding Director of the Asia Institute)
Networking time and refreshments
The Asia Institute submitted a report detailing concrete recommendations for a possible Korean program for science diplomacy featuring science diplomacy centers that may be developed by the Korea Foundation of Science and Technology Societies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This project, sponsored by Korea Foundation of Science and Technology Societies, involved a survey of best practices for science diplomacy in other nations and concrete proposals for innovative approaches that Korea can adopt to maximize its impact and respond to real needs. We stressed the need to customize such science diplomacy centers to the needs of regions, and countries, and to encourage exchange and an equal dialog on critical issues for our time.
Asia Institute director Emanuel Pastreich served as primary researcher and Asia Institute’s Rachel L. Stine was research director. We thank assistant researchers Olga Krasnyak, Ibrihim Ahmaid & Kadir Ayhan for their help.
A seminar on the topic of science diplomacy is planned for February, 2018.