(1) On December 16th, 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Serbia and attended the Meeting of Heads of Government of China and CEEC. Heads of Government of China and CEEC announced the Belgrade Guidelines aiming to promote China-CEEC cooperation. On this occasion, he also put forward clearly that all sides support the establishment of the China-CEEC Think Tanks Exchange and Cooperation Center.
(2) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, as the comprehensive coordinating institution for China-CEEC cooperation (16+1 cooperation), actively supports the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) to establish the China-CEEC Think Tanks Exchange and Cooperation Center (the formal name has been changed to “China-CEEC Think Tanks Network”, shorted as “16+1 Think Tanks Network”). The Network will uphold the principles of mutual establishing, mutual sharing and mutual beneficial cooperation, absorb domestic research capacity to create the two-track think tank platform under the framework of 16+1 cooperation, promote exchange and cooperation between think tanks from China and Central and Eastern Europe, reinforce the intellectual foundation of the 16+1 cooperation, boost the research of 16+1 cooperation.
(3) CASS, as a prestigious national think tank, is entrusted by the Chinese government in 2015 to establish “16+1 Think Tanks Network”.
The “16+1 Think Tanks Network” is the international coordinating mechanism and high-level exchange platform for think tanks from China and CEEC.
The “16+1 Think Tanks Network” will integrate all the advantageous resources of the CASS, other think tanks from China and CEEC, actively implement the strategies of building new-type think tanks, promoting China-EU relationship and pushing forward “The Belt and Road” Initiative, as well as coordinate and promote the “16+1 cooperation”.
(1) Specific functions: The “16+1 Think Tanks Network” is set up as an institutionalized platform on the basis of the comprehensiveness of subjects, talented staff, and strong network of the CASS to promote the exchange and cooperation among different institutes in CASS, other think tanks from China and CEEC.
(2) Specific tasks: The “16+1 Think Tanks Network” integrates think tank exchange, policy consultation, field study, joint research, personnel training to serve the development of China-Europe comprehensive partnership and 16+1 cooperation and promote China-CEEC close cooperation in economic, social, political, and cultural fields. It also helps to strengthen China’s two-track diplomacy with the CEEC and serve the “The Belt and Road” Initiative.
The coordinating role of the “16+1 Think Tanks Network” should be fully implemented. It should put forward research on China’s policy towards CEEC, regularly organize round tables and seminars and issue research finds.
The network will should strengthen exchange and communication among think tanks from China and CEEC and fully implement the communicating and coordinating role of the “16+1 Think Tanks Network” through project cooperation, think tank dialogue and field study, thus put forward the “16+1 cooperation” in the two-track manner.