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Graduates and teachers from the Institute of International Relations at Yunnan University pose for a group photo on June 29, 2020. [Photo/gjgxxy.ynu.edu.cn]
The precursor of the Institute of International Relations at Yunnan University was the School of International Relations at YNU, established in April 2002 -- whose own predecessor was the Southwest Asia Research Institute at YNU, established in 1964. It was renamed the Institute of International Relations in December 2005 and is the earliest international relations research institute established among universities and colleges in western China.
Since its establishment, Yunnan University has always attached great importance to international relations disciplines and the study of international issues. As early as the 1940s, YNU carried out research into the Arab issue and pioneered domestic Middle East-Arab research.
In May 1964, Yunnan University established the Southwest Asia Research Institute, which was the first institute in Yunnan province to conduct research on international issues and also one of the first group of research institutions focusing on international issues in the New China, established under the aegis of Premier Zhou Enlai.
In 1996, the International Relations Research Center and the Asian-African Research Center were established.
In 2002, the Institute of International Relations was established based on the Southwest Asia Research Institute and began to offer undergraduate programs.
In 2005, the School of International Relations was renamed the Institute of International Relations.
In 2012, the Institute of International Relations integrated its resources to establish four physical research institutes: the Southwest Asia Institute, the Southeast Asia Institute, the South Asia Institute and the Africa Institute (Center). In addition, other institutions such as the Center for China's Neighbor Diplomacy Studies, the Iran Research Center and the Bangladesh Research Center were established.
Since 2015, Yunnan University has successively established regional country research institutions such as the Institute of Myanmar Studies, the Institute of India Studies and the Belt and Road Research Institute.
YNU's research into international issues focuses on Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Africa. It looks at peripheral issues and energy security research, as well as integrating international politics, international economy and trade, international law, international education, and international river and cross-border ecological security research.
The international studies discipline at YNU integrates basic research, applied research, personnel training and public diplomacy. Making full use of YNU's geographical and academic advantages and top staff members, the discipline conducts research into China's geopolitics, regional diplomacy, energy security, regional cooperation and other major areas -- in cooperation with departments, both at home and abroad.
Since the 1940s, YNU's international research has achieved outstanding results in team building, basic research, applied research and think tank building, foreign exchanges and internationalization.
In the context of the promotion of the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the acceleration of YNU's "double first-class" construction -- its efforts to build itself into a world-class university with world-class disciplines -- the Institute of International Relations will continue to train professionals, develop international cooperation and conduct high-quality research.