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Middle East Studies Center

About Us

    The Center for Middle East Studies is a non-profit academic institution affiliated to China Foreign Affairs University. The center undertakes teaching and research activities in the field of Middle Eastern issues, organizes relevant seminars, forums, symposia and information exchanges for academic development, etc. It also aims to compile, translate and publish research output, including documents and proceedings, and to collect and exchange the latest academic information both in China and abroad. In addition, it offers consultation services for the foreign affairs departments in the government, as well as enterprises and public institutions.

Address: No. 24 Zhanlan Road, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Post Code: 100037


Researchers of the Center for Middle East Studies:

Director: Gao Shangtao

Dr. Gao Shangtao is an associate professor of International Relations. He supervises M.A. candidates in International Relations and Middle East Studies.

Gao Shangtao completed his doctorate at China Foreign Affairs University. His dissertation on International Relations Theory focused on power constructivism. Gao’s main research interests lie in the constructivist mechanism of power shaping and reshaping ideas and norms, and how to demonstrate the mechanism within a positivist framework. At present, his research focuses on issues related to Israel and Palestinian/Arab issues from a power constructivism perspective, as well as policy-making analysis within the stakeholder theory framework. Gao is examining issues regarding the influences of Israeli foreign policy towards the Palestine Authority and the changing political position of the latter.

Researcher: Xia Liping

Xia Liping is a professor of International Relations. She completed her doctorate at China Foreign Affairs University. She was a Fulbright Research visiting scholar at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2013 to 2014; a visiting professor at Sciences Po Lille, France, in January 2012; and a visiting scholar  at National Chengchi University, Taiwan, in 2007. Her main research interests lie in the diplomatic history of contemporary China, consular affairs and overseas Chinese affairs. She has published eight books as author and editor, and more than 30 academic articles.


Researcher: Qu Bo

Qu Bo is an associate professor and deputy director of the Institute of International Relations, at CFAU. He holds a doctorate in International Relations from Peking University. His research focuses on International Political Economy, Global Economic Governance, and Qualitative Research Methods. Dr. Qu has worked at the University of Oxford and Princeton University as a post-doctoral research fellow between September 2008 and August 2010. He has published and co-edited three books, Choice at Hard Times: Domestic Politics and Foreign Exchange Rate Arrangements; International Relations Theories: Thoughts, Paradigms, and Arguments; and Contemporary International Security System Transformation. He has been a member of the Global Agenda Council, World Economic Forum (2011-2015). He is an associate research fellow,at China and the World and the College of International Studies, Beijing.


Researcher: Zha Wen

Zha Wen is a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University. She holds a doctorate in in political science from the National University of Singapore. Before joining CFAU, she worked for Global Times as an editorial writer and opinion editor. Her research interests include nationalism, Chinese foreign policy and Southeast Asian politics. Her book Individual Choice and State-led Nationalist Mobilization: Self-interested Patriots was published by Springer in 2015.


Researcher: Feng Jicheng

Feng Jicheng is an associate professor at China Foreign Affairs University where she completed her doctorate. Her main research interests lie in International Relations Theory and Great Power Strategy. She has published two books and many journal articles.


Researcher: Yang Qiang

Yang Qiang is a lecturer at China Foreign Affairs University. He completed his doctorate at Beijing Foreign Studies University. His main research interests lie in American Politics and Diplomacy. He has published two books and several journal articles.


Researcher: He Gang

He Gang is a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University. He completed his doctorate in International Relations at CFAU. His fields of research include International Relations Theory and European Studies.


Activities and Achievements of the Center


Ⅰ June/July 2015: Guest lectures by Professor Flynt Leverett from Pennsylvania State University. 

    From June 29 to July 3, 2015, Professor Flynt Leverett, an expert on Middle East Studies from Pennsylvania State University, visited  the center. Professor Leverett conducted academic exchanges with young lectures, postgraduate and undergraduate students of CFAU. The exchanges were well received.

From 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on June 29, Professor Leverett held a discussion with young lecturers and doctoral candidates on “American Middle East policy” at the Zhanlan Road Campus. He gave some detailed explanations on relevant issues.

    At 2:30 p.m., he held inter-institution talks with Professor Mei Qiong, director of the foreign office at CFAU.

    From 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on July 1, Professor Leverett explained “the special relationship between U.S. and Israel” to undergraduate students in Classroom 213 on the new campus at Shahe. After his talk, he answered questions from the audience.

At 9:00 p.m. July 2, Professor Leverett and his wife gave a lecture on “Balance of power, political crisis and changes in the stability of the Middle East” to graduate students in Classroom 111. The lecture was well received and followed by a good discussion.

From 8:30 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. on July 3, Professor Leverett lectured on “The political crisis of Sunni faction Muslims in the Middle East" to all students of the master’s program on International Relations in Room 117. He later answered questions.

Professor Leverett also gave wonderful talks and detailed analysis on the formulation of U.S. foreign policies in the Middle East, providing a new perspective and rich research data for professors and students concentrating on Middle East Studies at CFAU.


Ⅱ October 2015: Guest lecture by Professor Dan Schueftan from the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa. 

   Professor Dan Schueftan visisted the Shahe Campus on Oct 14, 2015, and delivered a fascinating lecture on “The Security Situation in the Middle East and Israeli Security Strategy”.     

   The professor pointed out that most of the countries in the Middle East are not modern states. They lack a united identification of loyalty and are in the process of disintegration (some of them have already disintegrated) which may cause a bad situation for the security of the Middle East. The security situation of Israel has been challenged by this instability. The civil strife in Arabic countries around Israel deepens the frustration of Arab people and raises the possibility of them shifting their anger to Israel. The professor said Israel must remain highly vigilant and be ready to fight back. He also mentioned that, by comparing state function and government efficacy, the fundamental cause of Arabic countries (such as Egypt) losing their opportunity of development is because they haven not established governments like China or Singapore. Lacking powerful organizational capacity, he said these countries have not tapped the potential of their own citizens. Professor Schueftan concluded by focusing on the openness, diversity and inclusiveness of Israeli society. He ended the lecture with the inspiring question of whether to choose an intransigent or mild way of realizing the development of Israel.

After the lecture, he answered questions in a lively and animated discussion, which was beneficial to the students.


Ⅲ December 2015: A visit by an Omani Diplomat Delegation.

The Omani young diplomat delegation visited the center on December 22, 2015, during its visit to China.

Director Gao Shangtao, Dr Feng Jicheng and some CFAU doctoral students attended the meetings. Dr. Gao welcomed the delegation and gave a detailed introduction to China Foreign Affairs University and the Center for Middle East Studies. The Omani diplomats expressed their gratitude and outlined the purpose of the visit. They put forward some questions on China’s Middle East diplomacy, China-Oman relations, CFAU’s training objectives and the center’s research priorities. Both sides had a broad discussion about these questions.

The meeting concluded with a group photo to mark the occasion.


Ⅳ April 2016: Visit to the Institute of Diplomatic Studies of Saudi Arabia  

The third China –Saudi bilateral relations forum was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from April 6 to April 7, 2016. The delegation from the Center for Middle East Studies participated in this meeting under the guide of CFAU Vice President Professor Sun Jisheng. This bilateral relations forum is an important part of the cooperation between the two colleges. The two previous forums were held in Riyadh and Beijing, respectively. The agenda of the third forum included bilateral political relationship, regional security problems, petroleum, business and trade and the future development of bilateral relations, etc. The Chinese scholars expressed their ideas about how to take the bilateral relations to a higher level within the framework of the China-Saudi all-round strategic partnership. The Chinese delegation also answered questions from the Saudi scholars about China’s diplomacy, China-Saudi relations, Sino-America relations, etc.

During the meeting, the delegation also had a working conference. Both colleges expressed a willingness to strengthen cooperation and preliminarily agreed to set up a mutual visits mechanism for teachers and students.