Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Think Tank Decoupling Heats Up as China Blocks CSIS Website

 Here is more from the South China Morning Post:

Beijing has blocked the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) website in China, after the Washington-based group released a piece criticising the country’s sanctions on a European think tank.
This latest page in deteriorating US-China relations comes as academic exchanges wither and the Communist Party steps up efforts to spread its world view well beyond its borders, scholars say.

“It’s ironic that this piece would generate that response from China, given that the whole point was to … reduce restrictions, which is what China’s been pushing for in arguing against decoupling,” said CSIS fellow Scott Kennedy, who co-wrote the critique.

According to China Firewall Test, a monitoring site, the conservative Heritage Foundation and libertarian Cato Institute websites are blocked, while the conservative American Enterprise Institute is not.

And centrist Brookings Institution and CSIS are blocked while the progressive Centre for American Progress is not.

AEI fellow Derek Scissors said he has had articles blocked that question Chinese economic statistics, something Premier Li Keqiang did in 2007 as then-Liaoning Communist Party head citing “man-made” numbers, according to WikiLeaks.


China sanctioned the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) on March 22, and in response, CSIS scholars released a statement denouncing the sanctions, a move that apparently led China to block CSIS's website.

China's move also comes as CSIS hosted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga for an event at the think tank.

Here is a 2019 Think Tank Watch piece about the US think tanks that China blocks.