The emergence of China as a major power presents tremendous opportunities but also significant challenges to Malaysia. It is crucial for Malaysia to develop accurate knowledge, through first-hand research, for a greater understanding of China. Proposed by former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, University of Malaya’s Institute of China Studies (ICS) was established on 5 December, 2003. It is the first research institute in Malaysia with a specific focus on contemporary China. ICS serves as an academic center in Malaysia for the study and research of China from various disciplinary perspectives, including but not limited to, political economy, international relations, social development, and civilizational studies. In particular, it will focus on the study of China’s integration in the global political economy, in view of the growing investment and trade links between China and Southeast Asia, and their importance in sustaining economic growth and promoting stability in Asia. ICS also regularly engages with the government sector, think tanks, media, businesses and the public, through various activities such as policy consultation, conferences and seminars, applied research projects, and training programs. It publishes two journals: International Journal of China Studies (IJCS) and 当代中国研究期刊 (Contemporary China Studies, CCS).


To be the primary research institute in Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region specializing in the research of contemporary China’s political, economic, foreign policy, social and cultural developments, with a particular focus on Malaysia-China relations in the regional and global contexts.


ICS is dedicated to the production and advancement of first-rate scholarship on contemporary China, particularly from Malaysia’s perspective. It provides policy input to both government and non-governmental sectors, facilitate informed discussion on China among the public, and serves as an important bridge for networking and collaboration among scholars and practitioners regionally and globally.


  • To regularly produce timely and in-depth research on China.
  • To facilitate informed public policy debates pertaining to China’s regional and global impacts.
  • To disseminate knowledge and engage the Malaysian public about contemporary China’s developments.
  • To serve as a resource centre, repository of knowledge, and policy advisor to the government, corporate sector, and media on matters related to China and Malaysia-China relations.
  • To enhance collaborative research links with both domestic and foreign scholars, practitioners, and research institutions through academic exchange programs and joint research projects focusing on China.