Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University is one of the first “2011 Humanities Projects” being sponsored by the Ministry of Education. Being founded in July 2012, it was initiated by Nanjing University and has been greatly supported by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Government of Hainan Province, and the State Oceanic Administration. It works in close collaboration with other research institutes, including the National Institute of South China Sea Studies, the Naval Command College, Renmin University of China, Sichuan University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Driven by the demands of major national policies and aimed at the defense of China’s maritime rights and security, the Center seeks to develop basic research as well as research on applicable countermeasures on South China Sea issues, offer services to the nation’s strategic decision-making on these issues, and provide intellectual support for the nation’s development of “maritime power,” mainly through collaborative innovation between disciplines and institutes—namely, between Arts and Sciences, military and civilian organizations, universities and institutes, and between universities—which is enabled by system and mechanism innovation.

Focusing on three major directions including basic research, dynamic monitoring and strategic decision-making, the Center builds nine research platforms concerning “History, Geography and Culture of South China Sea”, “Resources, Environment and Maritime Rights and Interests of South China Sea”, “South China Sea Law”, “Navigation Freedom, Security and Stability of South China Sea”, “Politics, Economy, and Society of the Countries around the South China Sea”, “Public Opinion Monitoring and Communication Management of South China Sea”, “Remote Sensing Dynamic Monitoring and Situational Projection of South China Sea”, “ Policy and Strategic Decision Support of South China Sea”, “International Relations Research of South China Sea”. It also launched five major projects containing the construction of the evidence chain and basic data warehouse for South China Sea rights maintenance, the construction of South China Sea Early Warning System, studies on early warning and emergency response in South China Sea, strategic decision support in South China Sea, and the cultivation of high-end talents in South China Sea. It is fully committed to building a new type of think tank with Chinese characteristics incorporating academic innovation group, first-rate think tank, first-rate talent training base and international exchange and dialogue platform. 

On October 10, 2012, the launching ceremony for the cultivation of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies was held at Nanjing University. Seven collaborative units, including Nanjing University, participated together, and supporting units, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Oceanic Administration and Hainan Province, were present to support the event.

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