SIGNAL recently had the pleasure of hosting Professor Deng Chundong and Professor Chen Zhigang from the Contemporary Chinese Culture Research Centre at CASS for their first-ever visit to Israel. CASS, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, described by Foreign Policy as the leading think tank in China, is a top ranked academic research organisation in the fields of psychology and social sciences. It is also a national center for comprehensive studies in the People’s Republic of China.
Prof. Deng Chundong, the director-general of the Contemporary Chinese Culture research center at CASS, and Prof. Chen Zhigang, a research fellow, visited Jerusalem and the Old City, experiencing a sensational amount of history and culture during their visit.
SIGNAL introduced them to the Israeli Institute for Economic Planning (IEP) where they discussed anti-corruption and oil-dependence. The Israeli Institute for Economic Planning is a non-profit organization working to advance competitiveness within the Israeli economy.
At the IEP, the Chinese academics met with the President of the IEP Mr. Dror Strum, who is also the former General Director of the Israeli Antitrust Authority and Ariella Berger, the Head of Oil Alternatives.
The CASS scholars also became acquainted with the REUT Institute, an organization designed to effect force of change in Israel and the Jewish World. The Institute focuses primarily on socio-economic developments and national security and global affairs in order to turn Israel into an even more developed society. The Chinese scholars were particularly interested in social development and economic development in Israel. Mr Omri Zegen was also invited to CASS in order to present the REUT Institute projects. They have planned to organize a study exchange focusing on agriculture, education and society.
At the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Prof. Chundong and Prof. Zhigang met Adv. Liat Aaronson, the Executive Director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program, Ms Shelly Gordon, the Head of Executive Education at IDC and Dr Eric Zimmerman, the Academic Secretary and Director of Research and Study Abroad.
In the evening they met with SIGNAL Senior Fellow Yaakov Kirschen, an acclaimed cartoonist, best known for the award-winning cartoon strip Dry Bones, an English language political cartoon strip, which has been published in the Jerusalem Post since 1973.
The SIGNAL team gave the participants the opportunity to be part of a discussion at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. At the MFA the Chinese scholars met Mr Hagai Shagrir, the Director of the North-East Asia Department, the future Consul General in Chengdu, the future Consul General in Shanghai Nadav Zysblat, Mr. Guy Kivetz and Prof. Yitzhak Shichor. Meeting Yitzhak Shichor was particularly interesting for them as he is a Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at the University of Haifa and the Michael William Lipson Chair Professor, whose research and publications cover Chinese politics, foreign policy and military affairs.