News Release

Brookings Opens Beijing Office

October 24, 2006

The new office, located on the campus of Tsinghua University and to be known as the Brookings-Tsinghua Center, will bring together scholars from Brookings and China in collaborative work to increase the understanding of China’s growing influence on the world stage.

The new office was established through the generosity of John Thornton, chairman of the Brookings Board of Trustees and the founding donor of the Institution’s recently launched John L. Thornton China Center.

“Thirty years after the death of Mao, China is an economic powerhouse, a key member of the United Nations Security Council, and a world leader,” Thornton said today. “Whether the issue is ensuring energy security, promoting healthy trade, protecting the environment, or preserving peace itself, the futures of the American and Chinese people are increasingly intertwined. The rise of China is likely to weigh heavily in shaping the geo-politics—and geo-economics—of the 21st century.”

“The Beijing office will play a key role in establishing the Brookings Institution as a truly global think tank by creating a permanent overseas presence and on-the-ground research support capability for Brookings scholars in China,” said Strobe Talbott, president of Brookings. “While breaking new ground, the Beijing office will uphold our signature standards of quality, independence, and impact.”

“This new office will contribute to improved understanding in both countries of the U.S.-China relationship and of the complex economic, political, and social issues raised by China’s emergence,” said Jeffrey A. Bader, director of the Thornton China Center.

The Beijing base will facilitate U.S. and Chinese scholars working independently and collaboratively on challenges facing China’s development and U.S.-China relations. The project will disseminate research findings in Mandarin and English.

“China, with a population of more than one-sixth of the world, has a surging economy and an increasingly proactive diplomatic strategy,” said Geng Xiao, the director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center. “The Brookings-Tsinghua Center is committed to being the ‘go-to’ place for research and policy recommendations to help U.S. and Chinese leaders address long-term challenges, like energy security, political and economic reform, and China’s regional and global security interests.”

Xiao is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Hong Kong and Deputy Director of the University’s Institute for China and Global Development. In 1990s, Dr. Xiao worked for the World Bank and Harvard University. During 2000-2003, he was Adviser and Head of Research at the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Dr. Xiao has advised international organizations, such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program, and the Chinese government and many private corporations.

Thornton is currently the director of the Global Leadership Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he also serves as a professor. Thornton retired as president and co-chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. in July 2003. He was also a member of the firm’s board of directors and its management committee. Thornton was chairman of Goldman Sachs-Asia from 1996 to 1998.


The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2006, Brookings analyzes current and emerging issues and produces new ideas that matter – for the nation and the world.

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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.