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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 researching activities in the field of Middle Eastern issues, organizes relevant seminars, forums, symposiums and information exchange for academic development, etc. It also aims to compile, translate and publish research outputs including documents and proceedings, and to collect and exchange the latest academic information both in China and abroad. Besides, it offers consultation services for the foreign affairs departments in the government as well as in enterprises and public institutions.

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

Post Code: 100037

Researchers of Center for Middle East Studies:

Director& researcher: Gao Shangtao

Dr. Gao Shangtao is an associate professor in International Relations and Director of Center for Middle East Studies. He is also the Supervisor of M.A. Candidates in International Relations and Middle East Studies.

Gao Shangtao completed his Ph.D. at China Foreign Affairs University on the international relation theory, focusing on power constructivism. His main research interests lie in the constructivist mechanism of power shaping and reshaping ideas and norms, and how to demonstrate the mechanism with positivist framework. His current research focuses on issues related to the Israel and Palestinian/Arabs issues under power constructivism perspective as well as the policy-making analysis under Stakeholder theory framework. Gao Shangtao is currently examining issues regarding the influences of Israeli foreign policy towards Palestine Authority and the political position changing of the latter. 

Researcher: Xia Liping

Professor Xia Liping is a Professor in International Relations. She completed her Ph.D. at China Foreign Affairs University. She has been a Fulbright Research Visiting Scholar in Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University from 2013 to 2014, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po Lille, France in January, 2012 and Visiting Scholar at National Chengchi University, Taiwan in 2007. Her main research interests lie in Diplomatic History of Contemporary China, Consular Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs. She has published 8 books as author and editor and over 30 articles.

Researcher: Qu Bo

Dr. Qu Bo is associate professor and deputy director of Institute of International Relations, CFAU. He holds a PhD 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 Oxford and Princeton University as Post-doctoral research fellow during September 2008-August 2010. He published and co-edited three books, including Choice at Hard Times: Domestic Politics and Foreign Exchange Rate Arrangements, International Relations Theories: Thoughts, Paradigms, and Arguments, Contemporary International Security System Transformation. He has been a member of Global Agenda Council, World Economic Forum (2011-2015) and is an associate research fellow, China and the World Center, College of International Studies, Beijing (2014--).

Researcher: Zha Wen

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

Researcher: Feng Jicheng

Dr. Feng Jicheng is an Associate Professor in CFAU. Dr. Feng completed her Ph.D. at China Foreign Affairs University. Her main research interests lie in IR Theory and Great Power Strategy. She has published two books and many journal articles.

Researcher: Yang Qiang

Dr. Yang Qiang is a Lecturer in CFAU. Dr. Yang completed his Ph.D. 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

Dr. He Gang is a Lecturer of Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU). He completed his Ph.D. in International Relations at CFAU. His fields of research include International Relations Theory and European Studies.

Activities and Achievements of the Center

Ⅰ June 2015: inviting an American professor to Center for Middle East Studies for academic lectures 

From June 29 to July 3, 2005, Center for Middle East Studies invited Professor Flynt Leverett, an expert on Middle East Studies from Pennsylvania State University to the Center for an academic visit. He made academic exchanges with young teachers, doctors, masters and undergraduates of CFAU, which received good effects.

From 8:30 am to 11:30 am on June 29, Professor Flynt Leverett held discussion with young teachers and doctors of CFAU on “American Middle East policy” on the Zhanlan Road Campus and gave some detailed explanations on relevant issues.

Then at 2:30 pm, Professor Leverett held inter-institution talks with Professor Mei Qiong, Director of the foreign office of CFAU. From 8:30am to 11:00am on July 1, Professor Leverett explained “the special relationship between U.S. and Israel” in Classroom 213 on the new campus to undergraduate students, and answered questions from the audience.

At 9:00 pm July 2, Professor Flynt Leverett and his wife gave a lecture on the topic “Balance of power, political crisis and changes in the stability of the Middle East” on Classroom 111 to graduate students, which were welcomed with warm discussion.

From 8:30 am to 11:50 am on July 3, Professor Leverett expounded the issue “The political crisis of Sunni faction Muslims in the Middle East" to all master students majoring international relations in room 117 and answered questions later.

Professor Flynt Leverett also gave wonderful talks and detailed analysis on the formulation of US foreign policies in the Middle East, providing a new perspective and rich research data for professors and students concentrating on Middle East Studies in CFAU and effectively promoting our study on Middle East Studies. 

Ⅱ October, 2015: Inviting an Israeli scholar to give lectures on Security Diplomacy 

Invited by the Center for Middle East Studies at CFAU, Professor Dan Schueftan from the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa came to the new campus in Sha He on Oct.14th, 2015, and delivered a fascinating lecture on the subject of “The Security Situation in the Middle East and Israeli Security Strategy”.

Professor Dan Schueftan pointed out that most of the countries in the Middle East are not modern states. They lack a united identification of loyalty, and they are in the process of disintegration (some of them has already been disintegrated), which may cause a bad situation for the security circumstances of the Middle East. Meanwhile, the security situation of Israel has been challenged by this unstable circumstance. 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. Israel must remain highly vigilant and be ready to fight back. Professor Dan Schueftan 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 that they haven’t establish governments like China or Singapore with powerful organizational capacity, and they haven’t tap the potential of their own citizens either. At last, Professor Dan Schueftan focused on the openness, diversity and inclusiveness of Israeli society, and ended the lecture with the inspiring question of whether to choose an intransigent or mild way of realizing development of Israel.

After the lecture, Professor Dan Schueftan answered the students’ questions patiently. The discussion remained animated and lively, and the students benefit a lot from it.

Ⅲ December 2015: An Omani Diplomat Delegation Visiting the Center for Middle East Studies

The Omani young diplomat delegation dropped by the Center for Middle East Studies, China Foreign Affairs University, On December 22, 2015, during its visit to China. The two sides held friendly talks.

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

At last, the two sides took a group photo to mark the occasion and agreed to meet again next time.

Ⅳ April 2016: The visit to Institute of Diplomatic Studies of Saudi Arabia  

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

During the meeting, the delegation also had a working talk between two colleges. Both sides were willing to strengthen the cooperation between them, and preliminarily agreed to set up the mutual visits mechanism among teachers and students.