News Release

Brookings Launches China Initiative

September 20, 2005

The Brookings Institution today launched its new China Initiative, which is intended to explore the dynamics of China’s transformation and emergence as a political and economic power and the implications for the United States, China, the East Asian region, and the world. The Initiative was established through the generosity of Brookings Chairman John L. Thornton, and will be directed by Senior Fellow Jeffrey A. Bader, who previously served as ambassador and a senior official at the State Department, National Security Council, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

“The rise of China and its impact on the world is the most important geo-political event of the twenty-first century,” said Thornton, who is a professor of global leadership at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “With today’s launch, Brookings is now poised to establish itself as a key destination for both Chinese and American policy-makers seeking to understand China’s critically important role in today’s world.”

The China Initiative will focus on areas in which China has special challenges or problems, including energy policy, political and economic reform, urban development, and public health.

“The Initiative aims to analyze the issues facing China and the problems and opportunities that China’s rise presents to other nations,” said Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott. “The Initiative will make recommendations to policy-makers on these challenges, as we seek to understand—and promote others’ understanding of—the internal transformation of China and its emergence as a major factor in the new international system.”

In its research efforts the Initiative will work with Chinese scholars and other Brookings scholars with expertise relevant to China’s problems. The Initiative will produce works of scholarship as well as issue reports and recommendations to governments and policy-makers.

“As China continues to play a growing role in the global community, its ascension is likely to be one of our most complex and vital foreign policy challenges for many years to come,” said Jeffrey A. Bader, senior fellow and director of the China Initiative. “The objective of the China Initiative is to tackle these challenges head on, in the hopes of providing policy-makers and governments with the necessary tools and counsel, so that they can make informed and thoughtful policy decisions.”

The China Initiative began its public work today with a series of panel discussions on China’s emergence. Panelists included Donald Evans, former secretary of commerce; Samuel Berger, former national security advisor; Carla Hills, former U.S. trade representative; Kishore Mahbubani, former permanent secretary for the Singapore Foreign Ministry; Fred Hu, chairman of Goldman Sachs China; and J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to China.

For more information about the Initiative, its staff, and upcoming events and publications, visit

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.