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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Core Interests
Héxīn Lìyì

The term “core interests,” often written as the longer “core interests and major concerns” [核心利益与 重大关切] , is used by Party officials as a shorthand for the set of issues so central to the GREAT REJUVENATION OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE  that the official position on them is not subject to negotiation or compromise. The term entered the Party lexicon in 2003 in a discussion of Taiwanese independence, but subsequent party commentaries have identified these interests as falling into three broad categories: sovereignty, security, and development. 

Each category is paired with a series of corresponding threats. Threats to China’s sovereignty interests originally referred to “splittism” in Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang, but in the Xi Jinping era the term has expanded to include opposition to Chinese claims in the South China Sea and challenges to state control over Chinese cyberspace. China’s security interests are challenged both by the type of threat that can be handled with traditional military deterrence and less traditional threats to China’s “political security”—that is, threats to the stability of China’s socialist system and legitimacy of the CPC leadership's over it. Defending development interests means safeguarding China’s economic model from outside interference. Originally conceived in terms of securing trade routes and access to key natural resources, the Sino-American trade war of the late 2010s has prompted Party leaders to reframe threats to China’s development in terms of technology controls and tariffs. Diplomats of the Xi era are instructed to take the protection of these interests as the “starting point and end point” [出发点和落脚点] of Chinese diplomacy (Yang 2018).


Economy, Elizabeth. 2018. The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Eng Jinghan, Xiao Yuefan, and Shaun Breslin. 2015. “Securing China’s Core Interests: The State of the Debate in China,” International Affairs 91 (2): 245–66; Heath, Timothy. 2014. China’s New Governing Party Paradigm: Political Renewal and the Pursuit of National Rejuvenation. New York: Routledge; Swaine, Michael. 2010. “China’s Assertive Behavior Part One: On ‘Core Interests.’” China Leadership Monitor 34; Yang Jiechi. 2018. “Use Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy forGuidance, Deeply Advance Foreign Work in the New Era.” Seeking Truth.

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