16 February 2023

China-ASEAN University (Country and Regional Studies) Think-Tank Network: Partner Toward Shared Future

Ninnart Ratanasukhon
AUN Programme Officer;

China-ASEAN University (Country and Regional Studies) Think-Tank Network was founded on 31 October 2016 at Guangxi University under the support of the International Department of Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Education, the China-ASEAN Centre, and the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN.

Eighty representatives from universities across ASEAN and China witnessed its founding, and twenty-four renowned think tanks and research centres are now its members, which include the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore, the Asian Studies of Chulalongkorn University, the ASEAN Studies Centre of Universitas Indonesia, the Institute of China Studies of the University of Malaya, and more. 

China-ASEAN University Think-Tank Network aims to bring together think tanks from both regions to exchange knowledge, build consensus, and deepen the mutual understanding between China-ASEAN countries. Its ultimate goal is to improve the understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative and foster strength and wisdom to build a shared future between China and ASEAN.

To achieve this goal, the Network has been the leading actor in executing research with ASEAN universities. Taking into consideration the niche capabilities of ASEAN’s geographical location, academic strength, and research workforce, the cooperation between China-ASEAN University Think-Tank Network and ASEAN universities has been fruitful and of the highest quality. The crystallisation of knowledge and information through the Network is undeniably the key to scientific solutions to the rising challenges of ASEAN.

The Network has also been providing a platform for the exchange between leading institutes of each region to happen, the Forum of China-ASEAN University (Country and Regional Studies) Think-Tank Network. This forum, which has been held annually since 2017, is the platform for think tanks from China and ASEAN to gather and share their knowledge. With the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, and mutual learning at its core, this forum has been where rising issues within the region are discussed, suggestions are made, and shared visions of the future are built.
In their latest forum in 2022, topics of much relevance to the region and the path ahead for China and ASEAN were also discussed.

Under the theme of “Take RCEP as an Opportunity to Deepen the Building of a China-ASEAN Community with a Shared Future,” the conversations presented by distinguished speakers could be divided into three main topics:

  • China-ASEAN Cooperation in the Context of Indo-Pacific Strategy
  • A New Development Pattern and a China-ASEAN Community with a Shared Future
  • RCEP and China-ASEAN Digital Economy Cooperation.

Each topic discussion contributes effectively to the creation of the architecture for inclusive and win-win regional cooperation, the effective distribution of resources and educational opportunities across the region, and a new social contract for education through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Through such active role and cooperation, China-ASEAN University Think-Tank Network has been an active partner of ASEAN universities in finding solutions, based on knowledge and research, to modern challenges arising in the region and bringing forth advancement in higher education.