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  • Li Cheng (李成)
    Gender : Male
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Director and senior researcher, John Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution, USA


Graduated from department of Foreign Languages, East China Normal University, Shanghai; then received his master degree in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and doctor degree in political science from Princeton University


Li Cheng is currently the director and senior researcher of the John Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution of the United States. He is also the executive director of the National Committee on U.S. - China relations, a member of the U.S. Council on foreign relations, a member of the Advisory Committee of the China working group of the U.S. Congress, a member of the 100 member association and a director of the U.S. Institute of contemporary international affairs. The main research areas include the development and evolution of China's middle class, the status and influence of returnees, the comparison of think tanks between China and the United States and China's relations.


He has published more than 100 articles in famous western academic and policy magazines such as 《World Politics》, 《The China Quarterly》, and 《Foreign Policy》. Li Cheng is in charge of the Thornton series of Chinese thinkers published by the Brookings Institution Press, and has written a column for the Hoover Institute of Stanford University quarterly of 《China Leadership Monitor》 since 2002.

Notable Works|Publications

He has worked on Chinese and English academic monographs such as " Recognize China Again", "Building An Ideological Bridge Across The Pacific Ocean", "China's Emerging Middle Class - Beyond Economic Transformation", "China's Political Development: A Comparison Between China And The United States".

Main Opnions

In terms of international influence, Chinese think tanks are still relatively weak. There exist language reasons, many think tanks that use Chinese research are difficult to have a greater influence in the current international academic circle dominated by English.

I think if Chinese think tanks want to improve influence, we should first study how the west, especially the United States, operates think tanks and how their academic reputation is earned.

Think tanks will take a long time to develop, but I'm basically optimistic about the future of Chinese think tanks. In the next 5 to 10 years, we will see a heavy progress.


Sun Liping believes that the biggest threat of vested interest groups is to distort reform.

Li Cheng: “China's large-scale corruption is not only generated in the process of transformation, but more importantly in the process of monopoly by the central enterprises. Now the theft of officials has reached the level of hundreds of millions and billions. President Xi Jinping said in the past few months that in the process of taking the market economy route, first of all, we should prevent people from engaging in corrupt activities under the slogan of marketization. Coupled with this very strong anti-corruption campaign, I think it has great possibility of avoiding this situation.”

“The key question is whether China can prevent corruption through the rule of law in the next few years. Personally, I think this possibility is still exist, because there are new policies and new rules and regulations constantly pushed out. On this issue, I think Sun Liping's view is too pessimistic.”

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