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Think tanks urged to cooperate

Huang Zhiling/Peng Chao
Updated: Nov 23,2018 8:53 AM     China Daily

Think tanks around the world should deepen exchanges and cooperation and provide guidance for the development of human society, said Guo Weimin, vice-minister of the State Council Information Office.

They should focus on major issues of world political and economic development, and key issues that promote innovation and creativity, he said, as the Global Think Tanks Forum 2018 opened in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Nov 22.

Hosted by China International Publishing Group and the government of Chengdu, and organized by the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies, the two-day forum gathers leaders of think tanks from 18 countries to share insights under the theme “Cooperation and development of think tanks and innovation in global governance.”

Zhou Mingwei, former president of the publishing group, said the world is experiencing the rise of non-Western economies, severe challenges in Sino-US relations and the impact of new technologies on global governance. He said many developed countries are evading their responsibilities for global governance, and some are trying to abandon the governance mechanism established after World War II.

Zhou urged think tanks to strengthen exchanges and cooperation regardless of their views. Rather than just focusing on data or short-term interests, think tanks must conduct research with a more philosophical perspective, he said, to circumvent the negative impact of shortsighted politicians.

Ronnie Lins, director of the China-Brazil Center for Research and Business, said the Belt and Road Initiative could be an excellent option for the development of a governance model in specific countries.

The BRI is a broad concept in which any country that feels the need for the creation of a common good for humanity can participate, he said, adding that the main fight is the eradication of poverty and the reduction of social inequality. The powerful weapons are dialogue, partnership and innovation, he added.

Eiichi Shindo, director-general of the Belt and Road Initiative Japan Research Center, said the initiative has been compared with the Marshall Plan, which helped reinvigorate Europe after World War II, but they are different in many ways. He said the BRI, which covers more than 70 countries and two-thirds of the world’s population, is the result of socioeconomic partnerships and noted that it covers fields such as infrastructure investment and development, trade, transportation and energy.