Our work with China

Ƭ has a long history of scholarly work on China that goes back to the 1940s. We are proud of this heritage and continue to provide a forum for discussion of big issues concerning China and elsewhere, which today takes place through our global initiatives.


This page outlines the income the College has received from China over the last five years. This includes donations, research grants, income from educational programmes, conference-related income, and rental income.

As a percentage of the College’s total income in the last five years, funding received from China amounts to 1.5 per cent. Full details are available in this funding spreadsheet.

Due diligence

The College has robust governance structures in place through which the acceptance of research grants and philanthropic funding is considered.

We work in partnership with the University of Cambridge, which supports constituent Colleges in seeking to understand the risks associated with international activities.

Ƭ aligns to the University’s principles to manage risks in international engagement. In any international partnership the College will at all times:

  • Protect our people in their international engagement
  • Defend academic freedom
  • Promote and support an academic culture of vigilance and awareness of these risks, and ensure that people are equipped to know how to minimise or mitigate them
  • Protect the open flow of ideas, data and other forms of intellectual property – including a duty to protect it against wrongful exploitation or interference
  • Safeguard our funding autonomy – including a duty to ensure the diversity and transparency of our funding sources.

Strategic activities

The College’s main activities related to China are policy-based research, educational programmes including student visits, collaborative projects with universities, and accommodation and catering.

One of the College’s roles is to encourage open and honest academic enquiry into the important issues of the day. The College has a range of interdisciplinary initiatives which seek to address these issues:

  • The China Forum (formerly called the China Centre) aims to deepen mutual understanding between China and the West
  • The Global Issues Dialogue Centre (GIDC) is a research centre and forum for promoting active dialogue between academics, policy makers and business people around the major issues we face in the world today and tomorrow
  • The Cambridge Central Asia Forum collates Cambridge’s scholarly activities in Central Asia and the Caucasus, drawing the interest of the best interdisciplinary minds to engage in research in the region
  • In South and Southeast Asia, academics from the University’s Institute of Criminology and Centre of Development Studies have worked with the Thailand Institute of Justice to study the project to promote the rights of women in Thailand; this engagement in the region has been the forerunner to a larger policy engagement project.


  • April 2016

The College signs an agreement with Peking University to establish a China Centre at Ƭ.

  • November 2017

BT and Huawei announce a  with the University of Cambridge.

  • December 2017

The UK Government announces new ‘Golden Era’ for UK-China relations with agreements to cooperate more closely in such areas as financial services, trade, and investment.

  • March 2018

The University of Cambridge signs  with the Nanjing Municipal Government, leading to the establishment of a joint research centre and the sharing of revenue derived from the commercialisation of intellectual property.

  • September 2018

The Global Issues Dialogue Centre is established at Ƭ, following the award of a one-off £200,000 research grant from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). This arose from a UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership (Newton) fund initiative under the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (now BIES) under a previous Conservative Government.

  • February 2019

The China Centre at Ƭ launches its series of interdisciplinary academic seminars on a wide range of topics, past and present.

  • August 2019

The Global Issues Dialogue Centre is awarded a £155,000 research grant for a two-year research and innovation agreement between Huawei and the GIDC, at a time when the UK Government confirmed Huawei would play an important role in the UK’s roll-out of its 5G mobile telecommunications network. A report, Multilateral Solutions for Global Governance of the Information and Communications Technology Industry, was published as one outcome of this in February 2020.

  • October 2019

Sonita Alleyne becomes Master of Ƭ.

  • July 2020

The Government announces a ban on UK mobile providers from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December 2020 and that all Huawei equipment would be removed from 5G networks by end of 2027.

  • March 2021

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gives a statement to the House of Commons on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China.

  • April 2021

The House of Commons passes a motion that Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang are suffering crimes against humanity and genocide.

  • December 2021

The independent Uyghur Tribunal finds that the treatment of the Uyghurs by China can be legally defined as genocide.

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