Origins China Vitae was founded in 2001 with two objectives: to raise the quality and quantity of English language, biographical information on China's top leadership; and to create a centralized repository of such information available to a worldwide audience. To meet those objectives, China Vitae was structured to collect relevant data in digital form from the Chinese internet, add sophisticated search software, and display the results free, online to those interested in China.
Purpose As globalization accelerates, world leaders in all fields are interacting with China on a frequency and at a level of intensity not previously known. Furnishing accurate, unbiased, biographical information about Chinese leaders is intended to facilitate this process, allowing world leaders in government, academia, media, and business to be better informed about the backgrounds, interaction, and decision making environment of China's political elite. The need for this kind of knowledge is evident: the most critical challenge facing world leaders is learning how to deal wisely with rising powers, China in particular. China Vitae's core purpose is to provide the information and the tools required to meet this critical challenge.
Orientation China Vitae takes no position on political or other developments in China. The site's web pages contain factual information only; commentary is excluded. The goal is a site that is current, correct, and free of bias. At a time of rapid change in print and online media, China Vitae seeks to avoid the widespread practice of intermingling reporting, analysis, and opinion.
Development China Vitae has become the standard for English-language, biographical studies of the Chinese leadership and is widely used in support of policy making, research, and communications. Use is highest in the U.S., followed by China, Hong Kong, the UK, Singapore, Canada, Germany, France, India, and Australia. Altogether, computers in more than 100 countries access China Vitae, and the number of pages they view annually continues to increase. Search Capabilities China Vitae's databases are extensively cross-referenced. Employing an array of search tools, users can easily create lists of officials who have similar career paths, organizational affiliations, education, and places of origin. The cross-referencing allows users to follow the lives and careers of Chinese officials, individually or in groups, from birth to the present, facilitating background studies of the senior officials who shape Chinese policy. China Vitae offers two other databases useful for rounding out biographical pictures of top leaders. The VIP Appearances database tracks the public appearances of over 300 senior officials, allowing its users to follow the daily activities of officials whose lives and views influence Chinese policies. The New Appointments database publishes appointments and movements of senior officials as they occur.
Sources Information in China Vitae comes from Chinese and English language web sites in China that are supported by or affiliated with the Chinese government. Commercial sites are not used with the exception of official photographs that are sometimes taken from Baidu Baike, a Chinese Wikipedia-type site. Only factual information is extracted from Chinese sites, chiefly biographies, photographs, appearances, and appointments. During the nine years China Vitae has relied on Chinese government sources, few errors of commission have been detected, as confirmed by the hundreds of China specialists worldwide who use the site regularly and are invited on the "Contact Us" page to point out inaccuracies. Some errors of omission do occur, both in the information on Chinese web sites and in China Vitae's Chinese to English translations, but most are due to human error. To learn the source of a biography, appearance, or new appointment, pass the cursor over "Sources/ Revisions" in the biographies database, or click "Source" in the VIP Appearances or New Appointments databases.
Support China Vitae is maintained and operated by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a 501(c)3 organization. Grants are solicited from foundations, governments, nonprofits, and individual donors in the U.S. and abroad. To inquire, click "Contact" on the homepage toolbar and write an inquiry under "Contact China Vitae".
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a unique global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. Our mission, dating back more than a century, is to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decisionmakers in government, business, and civil society. Working together, our centers bring the inestimable benefit of multiple national viewpoints to bilateral, regional, and global issues.