The Center for Strategic Translation provides statesmen and scholars with the tools needed to interpret the Chinese party-state of today while training a new generation of China specialists with the skills needed to guide our relations with the China of tomorrow.

The Center meets this need through initiatives in translation and education. The Center locates, translates, and annotates documents of historic or strategic value that are currently only available in Chinese. Our introductory essays, glossaries, and commentaries are designed to make these materials accessible and understandable to statesmen and scholars with no special expertise in Chinese politics or the Chinese language.

Complementing the Center’s published translations are the Center’s training seminars. Starting in the summer of 2023 the Center will host a series of seminars to instruct young journalists, graduate students, and government analysts in the open-source analysis of Communist Party policy, introduce them to the distinctive lexicon and history of Party speak, and train them how to draw credible conclusions from conflicting or propagandistic documentary sources.
The Center is an initiative of the American Governance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that studies and promotes the betterment of American public institutions and publishes the quarterly magazine Palladium. The Center is directed by Tanner Greer, a noted essayist, journalist, and researcher with expertise interpreting China in the context of American foreign policy.


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Community of Common Destiny For All Mankind
Rénlèi Mìngyùn Gòngtóngtǐ

In 2018 Yang Jiechi, then the POLITBURO member responsible for Chinese foreign policy, declared that  “Building a Community of Common Destiny for Mankind is the overall goal of China’s foreign affairs work in the New Era.” (Yang 2018). This “Community of Common Destiny for Mankind” (also commonly translated as “Community With a Shared Future for Mankind”) refers to the central leadership’s vision for the future of the international order. At its core, building a “Community of Common Destiny for Mankind” means leveraging globalization and other types of global interdependence to reshape the international order in China’s favor. Party officials and party-affiliated intellectuals have long expressed frustration with the norms and structures of the post-Cold War order, which they believe are neither conducive to their continued rule nor fully compatible with China’s ADVANCE TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE WORLD STAGE. This slogan signals their determination to build something better. 

Though the slogan is strongly associated with the NEW ERA of Xi Jiping, most of the tenets of the “Community of Common Destiny” predate him. The substance of the CPC’s critique of the existing order, as well as a tentative vision for what might replace it, were laid out by Hu Jintao in a 2003 address at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, where he declared that the aim of Chinese foreign policy was a “HARMONIOUS WORLD” (和谐世界). Hu argued that this “HARMONIOUS WORLD” would improve on existing arrangements for global governance in five specific arenas: politics, security, economic development, culture, and the environment. On multiple occasions Xi has reiterated the importance of these five categories, whose scope reflects both the scale of Beijing’s ambitions and the depth of its dissatisfaction with the existing order, to his own  “Community of Common Destiny” formulation.  

The thrust of the “Common Destiny” critique goes as follows: the existing international order was created by Western powers for Western powers. The legacy organizations at the core of this order speak for the world but are controlled by the West. The “universal values” enshrined in these institutions  are imperialistic impositions of Western concepts on other civilizations. This is just as true of the political institutions and development models pioneered by the West and now seen as normative in international society. Some of these ideas and institutions are useful advances suitable for all peoples; others are simply relics that would have long disappeared were they not upheld by the illegitimate American HEGEMONISM.

The Community of Common Destiny will have no hegemons (in Chinese the word hegemon describes a state whose predominance depends on coercive power). After the defensive blocs and security treaties that make American hegemony possible crumble, bilateral trade will become the central organizing principle of the new order. China will be the center hub of this global community. New international institutions will be founded; existing ones will be altered. All will give China a central role in global governance. None of these institutions will honor dangerous concepts like “human rights” or “universal values.” In light of Chinese wealth and power, the human community will view liberal institutions as the parochial tradition of a few Western nations, not as the default model for development. At this point, as one Xinhua backgrounder explains, humanity will finally enjoy an “open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity” (Xinhua 2018).



Doshi, Rush. 2021. The Long Game: China’s Grand Strategy toDisplace American Order. New York: Oxford, Oxford University Press;Rolland, Nadège. 2017. “Eurasian Integration ‘a la Chinese’:Deciphering Beijing’s Vision for the Region as a ‘Community of CommonDestiny,’” Asan Forum; Rolland, Nadège. 2018. “Beijing’s Vision for a ReshapedInternational Order,” China Brief; Rolland, Nadège. 2020. China’s Vision for a New World Order.NBR Special Report, The National Bureau of Asian Research; Tobin, Liza. 2018. “Xi’s Vision for Transforming GlobalGovernance: A Strategic Challenge for Washington and Its Allies.” TexasNational Security Review 2 (1): 154–66; Xinhua. 2018. “China Keywords: Community With a Shared Future for Mankind”; Yang Jiechi. 2018. “Building a Community of Common Destinyfor Mankind is the overall goal of China’s foreign affairs work in the NewEra.” Seeking Truth.

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