Mission & History

Founded in 1926 by American educators John Dewey, Paul Monroe, and Chinese diplomats Hu Shi (胡適) and Kuo Ping-Wen (郭秉文), China Institute is the oldest bicultural, non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China. 

From ancient art to today’s business landscape and its rapidly shifting culture, our programs, school, and gallery exhibitions bring to life the depth, complexity, and dynamism of China.

Chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1944 as a school of continuing education, our language and cultural school is the oldest educational center of its kind in the United States.

China Institute’s Historical Timeline

Dasheng Bells at China Institute

Walking into China Institute in downtown Manhattan, you will be greeted by the New Dasheng Bells (大晟新钟), a set of 20 golden bells exhibited in the Institute’s main hall. Constructed in bronze, the bells vary in sizes and weigh between 12kg to 120kg each.

Designed by Dr. Youping Li (李幼平) from the Wuhan Conservatory of Music (WHCM) based on a surviving set of artifacts from the 12th century Song dynasty, these replicas were minted by Wuhan Mechanical Technology Institute CO., Ltd., and are a product of collaboration between WHCM and University of Michigan (U-M) in 2013. The New Dasheng Bells made their debut in the U.S. in 2017 and was subsequently moved to Valparaiso University, in 2019. Having been used in various performances in Wuhan, Ann Arbor, Chicago and New York, the Bells present an extraordinary story of cross-cultural exchange between the U.S. and China.

On December 29, 2022, the New Dasheng Bells were gifted to China Institute by Valparaiso University, a generous donation to enable China Institute, New York City’s go-to resource on China, to continue and advance its mission to deepen the understanding of Chinese culture through music and beyond. 

China Institute thanks the generous gift from Valparaiso University, officially made at the “Friendship Lasts Forever” concert at Carnegie Hall, New York City on December 29, 2022.

China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle

The China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle (NGLC) is a trusted platform for young American and Chinese philanthropic leaders and social innovators to contribute towards social impact endeavors, with the goal of driving positive change through collaboration in both the U.S. and China.

For more info, click here.

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