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中国非洲研究院China-Africa Institute

About Us

About IWAAS

About Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)

  About Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS)

  Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)

  The Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) was established on July 4th 1961 on the instructions of Chairman Mao Zedong. With the authorized staffing level of 68, IWAAS is the largest academic institution and think-tank on Middle East and African studies in China. Its predecessor was Institute of Asian and African Studies, which affiliated to Division of Philosophy and Social Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

  The convention of Afro-Asian (Bandung) Conference in 1955 was of great historical significance in promoting national liberation movement in Asia and Africa. In order to strengthen the solidarity between China and Asian-African countries, support their struggles for national liberation and independence, studying the history and current situations in Asian and African countries became a task of high priority for Chinese leaders. In Sept. 1959, the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) entrusted the Division of Philosophy and Social Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences with making up a preparatory team to establish an institute. Zhang Tiesheng, Head of International Cultural Exchange Committee, served as director of the preparatory team with Zhao Shaowen, Qian Chuwen, Zhang Huiqing and Lin Mingyang as team members. The main task of this team was to make preparations for setting up the Institute of Asian and African Studies and Chinese Association of Asian and African Studies, and start to mimeograph Data for Asia and Africa.

  On April 27th 1961, in his talks with Asian and African guests, Chairman Mao Zedong said, “Our understanding of conditions in Africa, taking myself as an example, is less than sufficient. We should set up an institute of African studies to conduct research on the history, geography and socio-economic conditions of the continent. As we do not know much about African history, geography and current conditions, it is highly necessary to publish a simple and concise book, which should not be too heavy. One or two hundred pages will do. It is advisable to ask our African friends for help. The book should come out in one year or two. Its content should include how imperialism arrived there, how it oppressed the local people, how it encountered their resistance, how the resistance failed and how the people have risen up again.”

  On July 4th 1961, the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Chinese Academy of Sciences was formally established. On Dec. 30th 1963, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China endorsed Central Foreign Affairs Leading Group’s report on strengthening research about foreign countries, which proposed the establishment of Institute of West Asian and African Studies and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies respectively on the base of Institute of Asian and African Studies. Chairman Mao Zedong made important instructions on this report. On Jan. 20th 1961, according to this report and Chairman Mao’s instructions, the State Organization Commission agreed that the Institute of Asian and African Studies set up in smaller units as Institute of West Asian and African Studies and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in order to strengthen studies on international issues. On Oct.30th 1964, the Institute of Asian and African Studies renamed as Institute of West Asian and African Studies.

  Since its establishment on July 4th 1961 till 2012, IWAAS at 51 experienced hard pioneering work, very limited development, and sever shocks from the Culture Revolution. In the reform and opening up era, under the contexts of cordial care and guidance for social sciences by CPC leadership of several generations, IWAAS makes rapid progresses in a vigorous way and yields great achievements. IWAAS currently hosts several well-known regular academic publications as West Asia and Africa (since 1980), Annual Report on Development in the Middle East and Africa (since 1997), and Annual Report on Development in Africa (since 2012).

  Under the new situations of reform and opening up, especially since IWAAS was put under the administration of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)  from Jan.1st 1981, there’re some changes in the guiding ideology, principles and tasks of IWAAS, which are further clarified and enriched as follows: guided by Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thoughts and Deng Xiaoping Theories, insisting to integration of theory with practice and the principle of “ let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend”, IWAAS concentrates its research priorities on contemporary political & economic developments and international relations in West Asia and Africa, fully promotes the building of discipline of West Asian and African studies. Meanwhile, relaying on basic studies, the tasks of IWAAS also include: conducting applied research of macro, strategic and prospective significances, keeping leading status in West Asian and African studies in China, trying its best to grow into a world-famous institute and a platform for bringing up qualified persons on West Asian and African studies, serving China’s foreign strategies, reform and opening up, and the world peace and development.

  IWAAS is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary academic institution. Its research fields cover 71 countries in West Asia and Africa, devoting itself to the research on current political and economic developments and international relations, as well as the history, societies, cultures, ethnicity, religions and legal issues in these regions; bringing forward policy recommendations to governmental organizations, and providing research publications and consultative services to companies interested in West Asia and Africa. IWAAS at 51 has become domestic academic center for West Asian and African studies in China.

  IWAAS consists of 4 research divisions: Division of Middle East Studies, Division of African Studies, Division of International Relations and Division of Social and Cultural Studies; 3 academic research supplementary units: Library and Data Office, Editorial Department of West Asia and Africa, and Administrative Office. IWAAS is home to Department of West Asian and African Studies under the Graduate School of CASS. There’re two national academic organizations affiliated to IWAAS: the Chinese Association of Asian and African Studies and the Chinese Association of Middle East Studies. Besides, the Gulf Research Center of CASS and Center of Southern African Studies of IWAAS are also based at IWAAS.

  As of July 31st 2012, there’re 44 members with professional titles in IWAAS.

  *Structure of professional titles: senior, 21; sub senior, 17; intermediate, 14;  elementary, 1.

  *Structure of educational background: Ph. D, 20; Master’s degree 8; Postgraduate student, 1; Bachelor’s degree, 11; junior college education and under, 4.

  *Age structure: 30 years and under, 1; 31-40 years, 15; 41-50 years, 16; 51-59 years, 12.

  Over the past 50 years since its establishment, academic staff of IWAAS have completed a lot of research work, with many academic results of high quality published, which include, according to initial statistics, about 150 books and reference books, over 2700 papers and general articles, over 370 reports, 211 volumes of academic data, more than 25 translated books and 286 translated articles. Over 136 academic achievements acquired outstanding rewards for academic research at state, CASS, Provincial, or IWAAS levels.

  In order to meet the needs of China’s economic construction, social developments and foreign relations, IWAAS conducts intensive research on international issues, especially in the fields of basic theories and major current issues in Middle East and Africa, and yields plentiful achievements, some of which have exerted many influences in domestic and oversea academic circles.

  Successive leaders of IWAAS and its predecessor include: Zhang Tiesheng (1961-1964), Wu Xueqian (1964-1966), Liao Gailong (1978-1985), Ge Ji (1985-1992), Zhao Guozhong (1992-1998), Yang Guang (1998- 2018). The current Director-general is Mr. Li Xinfeng

  Director-general: Li Xinfeng

  Party Secretary, Deputy Director-general:  Guohong

  Deputy Director-general: Wang Lincong

  Administrative Office

  Director: Ma Junwei(majw@cass.org.cn)

  Deputy Directors: Cheng Hong (Head, Department of Scientific Research, chenghong@cass.org.cn)

  Guan Zheng(Head, Department of Personnel Administration, guanzheng@cass.org.cn )

  Address: No.3 Zhang Zizhong Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing

  Mail: P.O. Box 1120, Beijing

  Post Code: 100007

  Tel.: +86 10 64039166, 64039167

  Fax: +86 10 64035718

  

Copyright: Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, CASS

Address: 3Zhang Zizhonglu, Dongcheng District P.O.Box 1120, Beijing 100007, China