The Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center and the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center announced plans last month to launch a partnership aimed at informing policies and public discourse on China and U.S.-China relations. The collaboration will include joint programming, publications, education and research initiatives.

Among the new projects the partnership will produce are an annual symposium in Washington, D.C. on the state of U.S.-China relations and closed-door working meetings with Chinese counterparts, said Paul Gewirtz LAW ’70, founder and director of the Paul Tsai China Center. According to Gewirtz, these projects and others will be opportunities “to discuss specific paths forward to manage competition and advance cooperation between the U.S. and China.”

“With China’s development continuing to grow rapidly and with U.S.-China relations ever-more important and complex, we each saw an exciting and timely opportunity for our two leading China Centers — one based at a leading think tank and another based at a leading academic institution — to collaborate more closely and regularly,” he said. “We’re excited by the possibilities this collaboration opens up.”

In addition to fostering cooperation between the two nations, the collaboration also aims to cultivate the next generation of China scholars and policy experts. Both students at the Law School and young professionals at the Brookings Institution — a nonprofit, independent research think tank — will benefit from professional development programming. In particular, scholars will have opportunities to publish research and policy papers using the broad range of information and resources made accessible to them through the collaboration.

“Scholars from each institution will publish working papers and other policy-relevant analyses leveraging the academic resources, networks and public platforms of the respective centers,” said Robert Williams, executive director of the Paul Tsai China Center. “We also look forward to welcoming Brookings scholars to Yale for lectures and other events, enriching the academic life of our Center and creating new opportunities for Yale Law School students.”

Beyond education, the Paul Tsai China Center hopes to increase its presence in Washington, D.C. and its capacity to inform public debates through the partnership. Dedicated to advancing legal reform in China and U.S.-China diplomacy, the Paul Tsai China Center has organized workshops, seminars and research trips in the past. In light of the collaboration, the Center hopes to continue expanding its reach and efficacy, especially with regards to informing U.S-China relations and policy.

On the other end of the partnership, the John L. Thornton China Center serves as the arm of the Brookings Institution dedicated to policy analysis and recommendations concerning China. Through the Yale-Brookings initiative, the Thornton China Center hopes to bolster its academic reputation.

“By collaborating with Brookings, Yale’s Paul Tsai China Center will be able to work more closely with some of our country’s leading China experts who are at Brookings, have improved access to the Washington D.C. community of experts and government officials working in the China field and better enable Brookings’ talented China scholars and experts to participate in the activities of our Yale Center,” Gewirtz said. “We hope that our collaboration will help advance each other’s agendas and enable us to make larger contributions.”

Raymond Gao ’21, who is interested in Chinese policy, said he is optimistic about the new partnership.

“I am really excited to see what work the Paul Tsai institute and Brookings will produce,” Gao said. “I’m especially keen to see new research on Chinese marine policy, as it relates to the current South China Sea disputes.”

The Paul Tsai China Center was founded in 1999.

Ruiyan Wang |