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Dr. Henry Kissinger believes that a strong relationship between China and the United States is vital to geopolitical security. Both American and Chinese leaders seek his expertise because his advice is:

  • Informed by study of the history and values that shape Chinese and American policy;
  • Direct in addressing challenges in the relationship; and
  • Balanced in treating both nations in a critical, respectful manner.

The Mission of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute is to Ensure that Informed Engagement Remains the Cornerstone of U.S.-China Relations.


Major Programs


A comprehensive approach to U.S.-China policy must be based not only on American interests, but on an understanding of the cultural foundations of Chinese strategy as well. The Kissinger Institute is uniquely positioned to gather and present that perspective by working with Chinese institutions and through the type of policy-relevant research that is the hallmark of the Wilson Center. The Kissinger Institute helps American and Chinese policymakers and professionals by structuring its programs around three questions:

How does China see itself?
What assumptions do China and the United States make about each other as competitors and partners?
How do China and the United States view their roles in shaping world order? 

How China Sees Itself

Beyond Power and Money: Foundational Issues in U.S.-China Relations

U.S-China relations are informed by historical experience and values as well as by current interests and capabilities. Through public programs, publications, and private briefings, the Kissinger Institute brings cultural and historical insights to analyses of bilateral relations.

Chinese-Language and Bilingual Programs

As the only U.S. think tank that regularly hosts lectures and conferences in Mandarin, the Kissinger Institute is the premier platform for Chinese voices in Washington and for explaining Chinese opinion to American policymakers and public audiences.

Chinese and American Perceptions

U.S.-China Security Perceptions Survey

In partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Chinese military think tank, the Kissinger Institute is conducting a major survey of elite and popular opinion in both countries on comparative hard and soft power in 2016 and beyond.

The Month in U.S.-China Relations Newsletter and China NOW Video Series

The Kissinger Institute offers the only e-newsletter for American institutions that cooperate with Chinese partners to solve joint challenges.

China and the United States as World Powers

The United States and China cooperate and compete in shaping international norms, building regional and global institutions, and providing public goods. The Kissinger Institute analyzes bilateral relations in multilateral contexts and in light of both nations’ success in establishing global standards.

Weighing the Rebalance

In partnership with the Wilson Center’s Asia Program, the Kissinger Institute presents public lectures and policy briefs by experts from Asia-Pacific nations affected by Chinese and American policies.

China and Russia: On Their Own Terms

Working with the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, the Kissinger Institute presents Russian and Chinese analyses of their own nations’ goals, their partnership, and their attitudes toward the United States.

U.S.-China Global Leadership Monitor

The Kissinger Institute is building a bilingual database that establishes baselines for discussion of Chinese and American roles in shaping world order and that tracks each nation’s contributions to and compliance with established international rules.