CCG Ranked 64th in the World’s Top 100 Think Tanks

January 28 , 2021


The 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) report was released by the renowned Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania on Jan 28, 2021.


The Center for China and Globalization (CCG) has been recognized in 14 ranking categories of this report. As the only non-governmental think tank in China that has cemented its position in the world’s top 100 think tanks for the 4th year in a row, CCG’s ranking has greatly improved every year and is now ranked 64th, up 12 places from 2019. In recent years, CCG’s outstanding contributions in multiple areas including policy research, offering policy advice and promoting international exchange and corporation, has gained recognition from the international community.


Since its launch in 2006 under the leadership of Dr. James G. McGann, the Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) report has a prominent role in the global think tank arena and gained an authoritative voice in identifying, categorizing and ranking centers and institutions in all major areas of public policy research and draws a holistic picture of the think tanks around the world that registered with GGTTI. This year, the report was released on the Why Think Tanks Matter Public Global Virtual Forum, titled ‘Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19’, attended by nearly 750 think tank leaders and experts.


2020 was the year of a sudden global catastrophe caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented challenges to globalization including economic recession, disrupted global governance and intensified competition among major great global powers. As the world has entered an era of turbulence, CCG continued to closely follow and examine political events and policy making around the world while focusing on issues regarding globalization, global governance, international relations, the Belt and Road Initiative, think tank development, global talent and trade policy as well as international migration. By conducting world-class research, hosting and taking part in a great number of webinars and forums focused on important international matters as well as bringing together a wide range of experts that specialize in various fields, CCG strives to strengthen China’s role in the course of globalization amid the pandemic.


The report shows that there are now 1,413 think tanks in China, a significant increase from last year. China now has the second largest number of think tanks, second to the United States. Of the 11,175 think tanks in the world, as the only non-governmental Chinese think tank to enter the world’s top 100 for the 4th year in a row, CCG is currently ranked 64th.

Of the ‘Top Think Tanks in China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea,’ which contained 24 Chinese think tanks, CCG ranked 10th and rose significantly by 8 places from last year, claiming the top place among Chinese non-governmental think tanks.

Meanwhile, CCG was also featured in a diverse range of lists in this year’s GGTTI rankings in its special achievement categories. CCG ranked 37th among the ‘Best Independent Think Tanks,’ which took 143 think tanks into consideration, earning it the top ranking among Chinese think tanks for a fourth consecutive year.

Remarkably, the report did not merely emphasize the impact of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies on think tanks, but also stressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on think tanks as well as the response of the think tank field, which is different from previous years. This was is also reflected in its global think tank rankings. In 2020, TTCSP launched two new categories in its global think tank rankings – ‘Think Tanks on the Cutting Edge of Artificial Intelligence Research’ and the ‘2020 Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19’. CCG was featured in the ‘2020 Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19’ as one of the few Chinese think tanks to make the list.

CCG ranked 19th in the list of ‘2020 Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks’ and was the only Chinese think tank that made it to the list.

It is also worth noting that CCG came in 21st in the list of ‘Think Tanks to Watch in 2020’ and was the only Chinese think tank to make the list for the fourth consecutive year.

CCG has been making a difference for years. In of policy research, CCG was ranked 60th among ‘2020 Think Tanks with Outstanding Policy-Oriented Research Programs’, not to mention that CCG became one of several thinks tanks in both the list of ‘2020 Top Foreign Policy and International Affairs Think Tanks’ and ‘2020 Think Tanks with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy’ for the third year.

Management and operation are as important as policy research for think tanks, especially for non-governmental think tanks like CCG. CCG ranked outstandingly as 44th in the list of ‘Top Think Tanks with Annual Operating Budgets of Less Than $5 Million USD’.

In addition, CCG ranked 28th in terms of ‘2020 Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedures’, demonstrating its credibility as the only Chinese think tank in the list.

The report also takes innovation into consideration. CCG was ranked 43rd in the list of ‘Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by a Think Tank’ for the third consecutive time as a Chinese non-governmental think tank.
In terms of its use of media and the Internet, CCG also ranked 48th and 25th respectively in ‘2020 Think Tanks with the Best Use of Media (Print or Electronic)’ and ‘2020 Think Tanks with the Best Use of the Internet’ which included only a few Chinese think tanks.
According to TTCSP,  the ranking process relies on a shared definition of public policy research and analysis and engagement organizations, a detailed set of selection criteria and an increasingly open and transparent nomination and selection process. As part of the nominations process, all 11,175 think tanks cataloged in TTCSP’s Global Think Tank Database were contacted and encouraged to participate in the nomination and ranking process. Over 44,992 journalists, policymakers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists were invited to participate and over 3,974 fully or partially completed the nomination and ranking surveys.
Furthermore, to encourage discussions on the future of think tanks and policy recommendations in the United States and the other parts of the world, the report recommended two books, the Future of Think Tanks and Policy Advice in the United States and the Future of Think Tanks Around the World, which contain writings on technological, political, and policy environments that have been influential and will continue to influence the future of think tanks and policy advice. Topics included the impact of technology, big data and artificial intelligence, competition from advocacy groups and public relations firms, increased polarization of politics, major changes in the funding of think tanks and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on think tank operations.
As a leading non-governmental Chinese think tank in the global top 100, CCG has been dedicated to promoting many national development and global governance policies. Furthermore, as the first Chinese think tank to receive ‘Special Consultative Status’ from the United Nations, CCG has developed a variety of events and platforms, providing innovative and effective channels to exchange ideas between policymakers, experts, scholars, and industry leaders and will continue to do so.


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