Francesco Sisci is a Beijing-based Senior Research Associate at China Renmin University. His column “Sinograph” runs in Asia Times, and he is a frequent commentator on international affairs on China Central Television. He is also a contributor to the Italian Encyclopedia Treccani, and to the Italian Journal of Geopolitics, Limes.

In 1988, Sisci was the first foreigner ever admitted to the Graduate School of China’s Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). At CASS, his work in Chinese Classical Philology and Philosophy led to a thesis on “Rationalization of Thought and Political Discourse in Early Mohism” at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies. A journalist, from 1994-2000, Sisci contributed to ANSA, Asia Times, and Il sole 24Ore and Corriere della Sera, for which outlets he conducted exclusive interviews with top Chinese leaders such as President Jiang Zemin, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo. Since 1999, Sisci has been a Senior Consultant for the Italian Ministry of Environment in China. He designed the framework and established the network of local contacts for the Italian-Sino Environmental Cooperation. In the period 2000-2003, Sisci wrote for Singapore’s Straits Times, and La Stampa. From 2003-2005, he was the the Chiara Fama Director of the Italian institute of Culture in China. Since 2004, Sisci has coordinated the exchange program between the Central Party School and Italy. The program was the first the Party School started overseas and it remains by far the largest run by China’s top ideological institution, headed by China’s Vice President. In 2006, Sisci was awarded an honorary Professorship by CASS in Classical Chinese Studies. From 2005-2010, he was Asia Editor for La Stampa, and from 2010 to 2013, he was a regular commentator for Il Sole 24ore.

Sisci is the author of the books La Differenza fra la Cina e il Mondo (1994), on China's reforms and the Tiananmen movement in the 1980s; La Piovra Gialla (1994), on Chinese organized crime; Another China (2001), on the structural changes in China and their global impact, serialized in Asia Times; Made in China (2005), on food, sex, women, money, family, and changes in Chinese Society; Chi ha Paura della Cina (2006); Ponte alle Grazie, on the West’s fear of China; Santa Sede - Cina (2008), with Father Francesco Strazzari, on the recent history of contact between the Vatican and China; Cina Tibet, Tibet Cina (2008), on the recent history of and cultural problems between China and Tibet; and A Brave New China, 2014.

Last Updated: September 24, 2018



What’s the Case for Heads of State Meeting the Dalai Lama?

Francesco Sisci, Robert Barnett & more
On Thursday in Washington, the Dalai Lama attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast hosted by President Barack Obama, angering China's leaders in Beijing who have long called the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a "splittist" and...