China has set up a high-level think-tank, led by a former vice-premier and top policymakers, as a platform to interact with international think-tanks as the government seeks ways to steer the nation through the global financial meltdown. Former vice-premier Zeng Peiyan was appointed director of the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, which was formally established on March 20. The centre was endorsed by Premier Wen Jiabao and was given a mandate to develop strategies for China 'to counter a world economy under siege', according to state media reports. Policymakers among the executive deputy directors of the centre are: Zheng Xinli, vice-director of the Central Policy Research Office of the Communist Party; Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-minister of the National Development Reform Commission; Chen Yuan, chairman of China Development Bank; and Wang Chunzheng, former director of the office of the Central Financial Work Leading Group. Other executive deputy directors include prominent economist Li Yining, Chinese University of Hong Kong vice-chancellor Lawrence Lau, Tsinghua University school of economics and management dean Qian Yinyi and PetroChina chairman Jiang Jiemin. Hong Kong businessman Victor Fung Kwok-king, chairman of Li & Fung Group, is also a deputy director. Professor Lau said the think-tank aimed to become a platform for regular exchanges with international think-tanks. 'This think-tank is a very high-level one, chaired by a former vice-premier and with participation from some major players,' he said in a written reply. Xinhua said the centre would start research projects on how to build a new global financial order, the possibility of a second wave of the financial crisis, Sino-US economic co-operation, Sino-Japanese co-operation and energy co-operation with Russia and Central Asia. The centre would invite 200 to 300 leading think-tanks in the world and leaders from the top 500 companies to a summit in June to share their views about how to help the world to solve the global financial crisis and how China can maintain stable economic development, Xinhua reported. The establishment of the centre also reflects the government's discontent with the current think-tanks in China, according to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald. One indicator of this was a commentary carried by Outlook magazine, which is owned by Xinhua, the day before the centre was established. The commentary lashed out at existing think-tanks for, it said, failing to provide impartial advice. It said many scholars had conflicts of interest as their studies were either funded by commercial corporations, or they worked under the auspices of government ministries. The former vice-governor of the China Development Bank, Liu Kegu, was quoted by the 21st Century Business Herald as saying the centre aspired to become a semi-official think-tank similar to the Rand Corporation and Brookings Institution in the United States.