China’s rise as a superpower on the world stage is a reality that few could foresee in France and in Europe when IECS was established. Despite a long history of contacts and exchanges between China and several European countries, including France, knowledge about China, and especially genuine research on Chinese history, culture, politics, economics, or science lags behind in French academia. Across Europe, there are very uneven levels of development across Europe, but in most countries a clear deficit in resources and academic positions is noticeable.
In view of the challenges that the emergence of China has set in motion – the increasing flows of people, ideas, goods, and capital across frontiers – and the forceful impact China as a geopolitical entity has on the planet — as an economic, political, military, and scientific power — there is a crucial need for institutions that can produce in-depth and genuine knowledge on China, its people, and its interaction with the world. This is a major goal of IECS in France and, provided resources increase accordingly, across Europe