University of International Relations

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University of International Relations
University of International Relations (20160423160938).jpg
Former names
Institute of International Relations
Type National
Established 1949
Officer in charge
Lin Xiaoke
Chairman Prof. Liu Hui
Vice-president Prof. Guo Huimin
Location Beijing,  People's Republic of China
Nickname 国关 Guó Gūan
Website University of International Relations (Chinese)
University of International Relations logo.png

University of International Relations (UIR; simplified Chinese: 国际关系学院; traditional Chinese: 國際關係學院; pinyin: Guojì Gūanxì Xúeyuàn) is an institute of higher education located in Beijing that was first established in 1949 to train foreign affairs cadres. The University's role within the bureaucracy of the People's Republic of China is subject to some debate: Chinese government sources and the University's website maintain that it operates under the Ministry of Education,[1][2] but other sources contend that the University is affiliated with Chinese intelligence agencies along with Jiangnan Social University, namely the Ministry of State Security (MSS),[3][4][5][6] and that its purpose is to train intelligence personnel.[3] According to the private intelligence company Stratfor, the University is where most of the Ministry of State Security's intelligence agents receive their training, having been recruited out of high school on the basis of high test scores, language ability, and a lack of prior international travel or contacts.[5]

The University is located adjacent to the Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. UIR offers undergraduate and graduate programs in International Politics, International Economics and trade, Law, English, French, Japanese and Public Administration. It currently offers a total of 13 undergraduate programs, and eight master's degree programs.[7] Its former English name is translated as "Institute of International Relations." It is also colloquially known as "Guoguan" (国关 Guó Gūan).


The University of International Relations was founded in 1949 to train foreign affairs cadres for the newly created People’s Republic of China. In 1961, the school merged with the Foreign Affairs College.[4]

In 1964, then-Premier Zhou Enlai ordered the creation of colleges and university departments to focus on international affairs.[3] Several government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Liaison Department, established their own institutes for the study of international affairs. The University of International Affairs in Beijing was formally brought under the control of the Ministry of Public Security in 1965,[4] and was charged with training intelligence agents for the Investigation Department (a precursor to the Ministry of State Security) and for Xinhua News Agency.[3]

Like many schools in China, the University of International Affairs was shuttered during China's Cultural Revolution, and reopened in 1978.[8] It was among the first institutions of higher education authorized by the Chinese government to offer academic degrees in China.[9]

The Ministry of State Security was created in 1983 under Deng Xiaoping, and assumed the functions that previously belonged to the Central Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security. According to Stratfor Global Intelligence and the conservative think tank the Jamestown Foundation, the University is now bureaucratically subordinate to the Ministry of State Security.[5][6]




Notable alumni[edit]

  • Liu Huan, singer for theme songs, 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • Qin Gang, foreign spokesman of People's Republic of China
  • Chu Shulong, a professor of political science and international relations at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University
  • Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies, Tsinghua University
  • Ma Jun, Chinese environmentalist, non-fiction writer, environmental consultant, and journalist
  • Li Shaoxian, vice president of China Institute of Contemporary International Relations
  • Tao Jian, vice president of China Institute of Contemporary International Relations
  • Mao Jingbo, marketing director, Mercedes Benz China
  • An Min, former vice minister, Department of Commerce

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Introduction, University of International Relations
  2. ^ List of National Key Universities in China, China Education Net
  3. ^ a b c d David Shambaugh, "China's International Relations Think Tanks: Evolving Structure and Process," China Quarterly, Volume 171, (Sept 2002)
  4. ^ a b c Gerald Chan, “International Studies in China: An Annotated Bibliography,” (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1998).
  5. ^ a b c Stratfor Global Intelligence, 'Special Report: Espionage with Chinese Characteristics', March 24, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Peter Mattis, 'Assessing the Foreign Policy Influence of the Ministry of State Security', The Jamestown Foundation, China Brief Volume: 11 Issue:1, January 14, 2011
  7. ^ University of International Relations, Academic disciplines, Accessed 07-20-2012.
  8. ^ A. Doak Barnett, "The making of foreign policy in China: structure and process," Westview Press, 1985.
  9. ^ University of International Relations

External links[edit]