Zheng Bijian (Chinese: 郑必坚, born 1932) is a Chinese thinker whose theories about globalism and transparency emphasize the importance of projecting soft power and peace. A longtime advisor to the leadership of China, Zheng was ranked 96 of 100 on the 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll, and 44 of 100 in the Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers in December 2010.
Early life and education
Zheng was born in Fushun County, Sichuan. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1952 and two years later completed postgraduate work in political economics at the Renmin University of China. He has conducted research for the party, state government, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
After his postgraduate work, Zheng conducted research for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His theory and research focused on editing the works of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China. He was later named deputy director-general of the international affairs research center at the State Council in the late 1970s. In 1988, he served as the vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and as the director for the academy’s research institute.
Having held many official posts, Zheng the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy in 2010 and serves as its chairman (CIIDS). CIIDS is committed to providing strategic advice to government officials through academic and scientific research. It develops strategies for social governance, technology, and military institutions. CIIDS maintains cooperative relationships with Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council which co-hosted the Understanding China Conferences of 2013 and 2015. The conferences were attended by former heads of state including: Ernesto Zedillo, Ricardo Lagos, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd, and Gordon Brown.
He began to work with the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in the late 1970s. He served as deputy director of the publicity department from 1992 to 1997. Since 2003 he has served on the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Zheng also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Dean of the College of Humanities of the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chairman of China Sciences and Humanities Forum, and Senior Advisor to Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.
Zheng’s work has focused on China’s rise on the international stage, including planning for and commitment to a peace and sustainable prosperity. Sometimes called “China’s Henry Kissinger”, Zeng’s theories of strategic cooperation have been well received in international communities.
With Zheng as Chairman, CIIDS has attracted a large number of senior strategists, diplomats, scientists, generals, economists and business leaders as participants and advisors. These individuals include: Lu Yongxiang, former President of China Academy of Sciences and former Vice Chairman of National People’s Congress, Bai Chunli, President of China Academy of Sciences, Ge Zhenfeng, General and former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, Fu Ying, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress and former Ambassador to the UK, Ye Xiaowen, former Minister of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, Wu Jianmin, former Ambassador to France and former President of China Foreign Affairs University, Zhou Wenzhong, Secretary General of the Boao Forum for Asia and former Ambassador to the United States, and Zhu Min, former Deputy Managing Director of IMF.
According to its website, CIIDS advocates for developing a convergence of interests and building communities in all directions and levels between China and the world. CIIDS works with both the CPC and non-governmental organizations like universities and businesses to conduct research and develop strategies. Through its relationships with non-Chinese organizations, CIIDS has developed partnerships with the following individuals: including Ernesto Zedillo (former President of Mexico), Ricardo Lagos (former President of Chile), Susilo Yudhoyono (former President of Indonesia), Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd (former Prime Ministers of Australia), Gordon Brown (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom]]), Felipe Gonzalez (former Prime Minister of Spain), Mario Monti (former Prime Minister of Italy), Shaukat Aziz (former Prime Minister of Pakistan), Goh Chok Tong (former Prime Minister of Singapore), Carl Bildt (former Prime Minister of Sweden), Yohei Kono (former Speaker of Japanese Diet), Alexei Kudrin (former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia), Stephen Hadley (former U.S. National Security Advisor), Francis Fukuyama (Professor of Stanford University), Michael Spence (Nobel Prize Laureate, Economic Sciences), Eric Schmidt (Chairman and CEO of Google), Pierre Omidyar (Founder of eBay), Reid Hoffman (Executive Chairman of LinkedIn) and Antony Leung (former Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, PRC).
The events and conferences organized by CIIDS bring these individuals, groups, and organizations together with Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, to discuss developmental strategies and foreign relationships.
- 2010—Present: Founder and Chairman of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS)
- 2003—Present: Member of CPPCC National Committee
- 1997—2002: Executive Vice President of CPC and Central Party School
- 1992—1997: Deputy Director of CPC
- 1988—1992: Director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
- 1982—1988: Secretary of Hu Yaobang
- 1982—1987: Researcher at CPC Research Department
- Peaceful rise of China, a term Zheng Bijian coined
- Biography at China Vitae