In June 2023, 60 PhD candidatesgraduate studentsyoung scholars and professionals gathered in Turin for the 17th edition of the TOChina Summer School: two high-powered weeks of advanced training in the politicspolitical economy and foreign policy of contemporary China.

The essence of the program lies in welcoming emerging China hands and China-literate practitioners from all over the world to one of Italy's most dynamic cities, whilst being exposed to valuable insights and cutting-edge research agendas by some of the world's most accomplished scholars on contemporary China.
As ever with TOChina activities, the aim is to work at the intersection between China’s long-term structural transformations in socio-political, economic and cultural terms, and those particularly salient trends that are currently informing international debates on China.

To ensure the pluralism of disciplinary and intellectual perspectives presented throughout the course, TOChina Summer School faculty members are academics and policy experts from a variety of fields, including Economics, Economic History, International Relations, International Political Economy, Political Philosophy and Culture, Political Science, and Sociology.

The 18th edition of the School will be held both in presence in Turin and Milan, Italy, from Tuesday June 25 to Friday July 5, 2024.

Activities – including lectures, seminars, round tables, and extensive Q&A sessions – run Monday to Friday, 10.00 am to 5.30 pm CET.

The TOChina Summer School is suitable not only for participants wishing to study the domestic aspects of China’s politics, but also for those who intend to explore the rapidly evolving dynamics of Asian and global geopolitics and economics. For those looking for insights into future career options, the TOChina Summer School offers a unique opportunity to engage in lively debates with senior scholars who are often in charge of PhD programs in their country, and affiliated to a variety of organizations. The informal sessions participants join to acquire greater knowledge of the work of TOChina faculty members are a trademark of TOChina’s hands-on approach to the study of contemporary China. 

The School is run by the TOChina Hub - a partnership between the University of Torino, ESCP Business School & the Torino World Affairs Institute (T.wai) - in collaboration with John Cabot University in Rome.

The TOChina Summer School was granted the patronage of the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and of SISP, the Italian Political Science Association, and its Standing Group in International Relations.

Applications will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis.
To apply for the TOChina Summer School, please fill the online application form:
The intellectual salon is a rara avis among those outside China who would come to grips with that country’s complex socio-political, regional and economic topography. TOChina offers a unique educational salon for engaged young scholars and professionals from various backgrounds in which they can learn about, discuss and debate the presence of China on the global stage. A salon with edge and purpose like the TOChina Summer School prepares participants for the real world of China today and tomorrow.

Prof. Geremie Barmé
TOChina engaged me in dialogues with both leading experts and young scholars of China studies in a truly multicultural context, where I made lifelong friends who share my own vision and passion for this field of research. The TOChina Summer School is indeed an empowering experience.

(TOChina alumna 2012)
24 JuNE
28 June
Arrival in Torino
From lying low to lying flat: logics and practices of disengagement in the age of China’s rejuvenation
ZHANG Qingmin
From “responsible stakeholder” to norm shaper? China’s attitudes and visions on global order
The networked “Rise of the Rest”: the China-India-GCC triangle
lunch break
lunch break
lunch break
lunch break
lunch break
Arrival in Torino
ZHANG Qingmin
The making of China’s foreign policy: actors, processes and feedbacks
China’s maritime power projection and scenarios for the Taiwan Strait after the 2024 elections
How to study online public discourse in China: research agendas and methodological caveat
Alanoud AL-SABAH
China’s evolving role in the Gulf: a perspective from Kuwait
City tour in Turin
& Opening Aperitif
4 July
5 July
Agatha KRATZ
EU-China relations in the age of de-risking: implications for governments and business
Agatha KRATZ
Assessing the cost of escalating tensions in the Taiwan Straits
LI Mingjiang
What prospects for China’s policy in South-East Asia after the 2023 Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs?
America’s posture in Asia after the November elections
“Common prosperity” and social policy in China after the age of rapid economic growth
lunch break
lunch break
lunch break
lunch break
Digital nationalism in the PRC: actors, audiences, antinomies
Taiwan’s digital democracy and contemporary cross-strait relations
LI Mingjiang
From soft to ideational power: the China Dream and Beijing's Global community of shared future
The changing social topography and governance of the Chinese diaspora in Italy
The end of the Covid-19 pandemic and political regime stability in China
Faculty & Sessions


UNIVERSITY OF TURIN & T.WAI - Torino world affairs institute

A tenured Assistant Professor of International Relations of East Asia at the University of Turin, Dr Giovanni B. Andornino (欧阳乔) is the Director of the TOChina Centre of the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, and Director of the TOChina Summer School. Dr Andornino is Vice President and Head of the Global China program at the Torino World Affairs Institute (T.wai) and the former Editor of OrizzonteCina, Italy's leading academic journal on contemporary China studies in the social sciences. His research focuses on China’s domestic politics, foreign policy, and relations with Italy and the wider Euro-Mediterranean region. Since 2019 he has been serving as the founding General Secretary of the China-Italy Philanthropy Forum.

ORIZZONTECINA ROUNDTABLE: Doing research in and on contemporary China: old challenges in the new era


International Institute for Strategic Studies

Dr Hasan Alhasan is a Senior Fellow for Middle East Policy at the IISS. He has over a decade of experience as a scholar and practitioner of foreign policy in the Gulf region. He specialises in the Arab Gulf states’ grand strategies, economic statecraft, and relations with the Asian powers. Prior to joining IISS in 2019, Hasan served on HRH the Crown Prince of Bahrain’s staff as a senior analyst on foreign policy and national security for five years. Hasan is regularly consulted by governments, private corporations, and the media on strategic affairs in the Gulf and Middle East region. His latest project at IISS, entitled Gulf Bailout Diplomacy: Aid as Economic Statecraft in a Turbulent Region, is a groundbreaking study on the politics of Gulf rescue lending in the MENA region. He is the co-editor of India and the Gulf: Theoretical Perspectives and Policy Shifts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023).

LECTURE: The networked “Rise of the Rest”: the China-India-GCC triangle

Alanoud AL-SABAH


Dr Al-Sabah holds a PhD in History from Pompeu Fabra Barcelona and a Masters in Chinese Studies from the same university. She has 17 years of work experience in the field of international relations and security in several governmental institutions in Kuwait. Dr Al-Sabah has research published on China- Kuwait relations, GCC Brazil relations and Public Policy. She has also studied Spanish and Hispanic Literature at the University of Barcelona and a diploma in Cultural Management from Culture Management Diploma Factoria de Arte, Spain.  She obtained expertise in the field of Security and Cyber Security. She participated in several international conferences related to China, International Security and Public Policy. She is able to speak several languages, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, and some Chinese. She is fond of Chinese Calligraphy and literature.

LECTURE: China’s evolving role in the Gulf: a perspective from Kuwait


UNIVERSITY OF INSUBRIA & T.WAI - Torino world affairs institute

Daniele Brigadoi Cologna is an Italian migration sociologist with a strong background in Chinese Studies. He is Lecturer in Chinese Language and Culture at Insubria University in Como, and has taught Migration Sociology as a contract Professor in several Italian Universities. He is a Research Fellow of the Torino World Affairs Institute and an author of the online magazine OrizzonteCina. Most of his publications deal with the way immigrants of various origins interact with Italian society, economy and polity, with a specific focus on Chinese migration, and with the impact of cultural diversity on contemporary Chinese society.

LECTURE: The changing social topography and governance of the Chinese diaspora in Italy


University of Glasgow

Jane Duckett is Edward Caird Chair of Politics and Director of the Scottish Centre for China Research at the University of Glasgow. She is a Fellow of the British Academy (2016), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2019), and the Academy of Social Sciences (2019). She is also a Guest Professor at Nankai University (Tianjin, China). In 2012 she received the Lord Provost of Glasgow Education Award. From 2014–2017 she was President of the British Association for Chinese Studies. Her most recent project, 'COVID-19: Understanding the Chinese Government's Containment Measures and their Societal Impacts,' was funded by the UK's National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council.

LECTURE: “Common prosperity” and social policy in China after the age of rapid economic growth

LECTURE: The end of the Covid-19 pandemic and political regime stability in China


Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Evan A. Feigenbaum is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees research in Washington, Beijing, and New Delhi on a dynamic region encompassing both East Asia and South Asia. He was also the 2019-20 James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, where he is now a practitioner senior fellow. Initially an academic with a PhD in Chinese politics from Stanford University, Feigenbaum’s career has spanned government service, think tanks, the private sector, and three major regions of Asia. He is the author of three books and monographs, including The United States in the New Asia (CFR, 2009, co-author) and China’s Techno-Warriors: National Security and Strategic Competition from the Nuclear to the Information Age (Stanford University Press, 2003), which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a best book of 2003 on the Asia-Pacific, as well as numerous articles and essays.

LECTURE: America’s posture in Asia after the November elections


Kiel University

Sarah Kirchberger is Director of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK); Vice President of the German Maritime Institute (DMI), and Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Her current work focuses on Russia–China relations, maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region, emerging technologies in the maritime sphere, China’s arms industries, and China’s naval development. Before joining ISPK she was assistant professor of contemporary China at the University of Hamburg, and previously worked as a naval analyst with shipbuilder TKMS Blohm + Voss. She is the author of "Assessing China’s Naval Power: Technological Innovation, Economic Constraints, and Strategic Implications" (2015) and editor of „Russia-China Relations: Emerging Alliance or Eternal Rivals?“ (2023).

LECTURE: China’s maritime power projection and scenarios for the Taiwan Strait after the 2024 elections

Agatha KRATZ

Rhodium Group

Agatha Kratz is a Director at Rhodium Group. She heads Rhodium’s China corporate advisory team, as well as Rhodium’s research on European Union-China relations and China’s economic statecraft. She also contributes to Rhodium work on China’s global investment, industrial policy and technology aspirations. Agatha holds a Ph.D. from King’s College London, on China’s railway diplomacy. Her previous positions include Associate Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and Editor-in-Chief of its quarterly journal China Analysis, Assistant Editor for Gavekal-Dragonomics’ China Economic Quarterly, and Junior Fellow at Asia Centre in Paris.

LECTURE: EU-China relations in the age of de-risking: implications for governments and business

LECTURE: Assessing the cost of escalating tensions in the Taiwan Straits

LI Mingjiang

Nanyang Technological University

Dr. Li Mingjiang is an Associate Professor and Provost’s Chair in International Relations at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He is also the Coordinator of the PhD Program at RSIS. He serves as the Deputy Chair of the 8th NTU Senate, member of the Senate Steering Committee and Chair of the Campus and Community Committee. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston University. His main research interests include Chinese foreign policy, Chinese economic statecraft, the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese politics, China-ASEAN relations, Sino-U.S. relations, and Asia-Pacific security. He is the author (including editor and co-editor) of 15 books. His recent books are China’s Economic Statecraft (World Scientific, 2017) and New Dynamics in US-China Relations: Contending for the Asia Pacific (lead editor, Routledge, 2014).

LECTURE: What prospects for China’s policy in South-East Asia after the 2023 Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs?

LECTURE: From soft to ideational power: the China Dream and Beijing's Global community of shared future



Florian Schneider, PhD, Sheffield University, is Chair Professor of Modern China at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. He is managing editor of Asiascape: Digital Asia, director of the Leiden Asia Centre, and the author of three books: Staging China: the Politics of Mass Spectacle (Leiden University Press, 2019, recipient of the ICAS Book Prize 2021 Accolades), China’s Digital Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Visual Political Communication in Popular Chinese Television Series (Brill, 2013, recipient of the 2014 EastAsiaNet book prize). In 2017, he was awarded the Leiden University teaching prize for his innovative work as an educator. His research interests include questions of governance, political communication, and digital media in China, as well as international relations in the East-Asian region.

LECTURE: Digital nationalism in the PRC: actors, audiences, antinomies

LECTURE: Taiwan’s digital democracy and contemporary cross-strait relations



Kristin Shi-Kupfer is Professor for Contemporary China Studies at the University of Trier and a Senior Associate Fellow at MERICS. She previously worked as a research associate at the University of Freiburg’s Institute for Sinology. Dr. Shi-Kupfer is an expert on China’s digital society and politics, media policy, civil society and human rights. She earned her PhD from Ruhr University Bochum with a thesis on spiritual and religious groups in China after 1978. From 2007 to 2011 she was based in Beijing covering China for various German-speaking media like the Austrian magazine Profil, the German Protestant Press Agency epd or the public radio station Deutsche Welle. Since 2019 she is a member of the Sino-German Working Group on Digital Business Models initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

lecture: How to study online public discourse in China: research agendas and methodological caveat


University of OXFORD

Patricia M. Thornton is a political scientist whose research interests span the political, socio-economic, and cultural history of modern China. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously served as the Director of the Institute for Asian Studies at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. She is an Associate Professor of Chinese Politics at the University of Oxford.

lecture: From lying low to lying flat: logics and practices of disengagement in the age of China’s rejuvenation

ZHANG Qingmin

Peking University

Zhang Qingmin is Professor and Chair of the Department of Diplomacy with the School of International Studies, Peking University. His teaching and research interests include diplomatic studies and theory of foreign policy analysis with an empirical focus on China. He is the author and translator of more than a dozen books, including Contemporary China’s Diplomacy, Foreign Policy Analysis, Diplomacy in A Globalizing World: Theory and Practice, as well as many peer- reviewed journal articles and book chapters both in Chinese and English. He has rich international teaching experiences, including teaching Chinese foreign policy related courses at  many universities in different countries.

lecture: The making of China’s foreign policy: actors, processes and feedbacks

lecture: From “responsible stakeholder” to norm shaper? China’s attitudes and visions on global order

TOCHINA SUMMER SCHOOL - Previous editions
Key Dates
The TOChina Centre begins accepting online applications for the 2024 edition of the TOChina Summer School.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
7 june
All complete applications reaching the TOChina Program Manager by this date (CET) are evaluated. No late application will be considered.
12 june
By this date the last successful applicants receiving an offer must formally accept it and send proof of fees payment (direct bank transfer, all banking expenses must be paid by the candidate) via email. Upon receiving these, the TOChina Program Manager will confirm the candidate’s enrollment. Applicants who should fail to meet this deadline will have their offer withdrawn.
25 june
The 2024 TOChina Summer School begins in Turin.
5 july
The 2024 TOChina Summer School ends in Turin.
Admissions Criteria
The TOChina Summer School is designed for highly motivated students and professionals looking for one of the world’s best intensive programs focussing on the politics, society, political economy and foreign policy of contemporary China. A careful selection of up to 60 students is carried out in order to make sure that the School’s working environment is as dynamic and challenging as possible. The Admissions Committee focuses on the following factors in reaching its decisions:

1. the applicant’s capacity to make a credible claim for a proficient research/professional career with China;

2. sound academic credentials and fluency in English;

3. individual potential as expressed by the applicant’s CV;

4. the candidate’s motivation as articulated in the personal statement.

Applications are welcome from any professional or student who is in possession of the required qualifications. These are a Bachelor honours degree at 1 or 2:1 level (or an equivalent European title, such as the Laurea triennale for Italian students with a minimum grade of 100/110) and full command of the English language. Special consideration will be given to applicants who can demonstrate their English ability in the following ways:

1. being of a nationality where English is the first language;

2. having studied at university level in English as shown on the transcript uploaded in the Online Application form;

3. having studied English at school (e.g., GCSE, A-Level, International Baccalaureate…) and achieved good grades;

4. having taken an approved English Language test and met the following standards: IELTS – 6.5;  TOEFL (Internet based) – 100 points; TOEFL (Computer based) – 250 points; TOEFL (Paper based) – 600 points; Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) – Pass; Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) – Pass.

Outstanding undergraduate students (i.e. students who will not yet have a degree at the start of the Summer School) who are enrolled in a university course with a strong China focus may also apply, provided that they have completed at least one year of course.
In order to render the TOChina Summer School at least temporarily accessible to students and professionals who are unable to attend the entire duration of the course (2 weeks), a maximum of 5 auditors will be admitted for each session.

Anyone can apply to audit one or more sessions. Unsuccessful Summer School applicants too may re-apply as auditors. There is no restriction on the number of sessions a single auditor may attend. The cost for attending each session as auditors is EUR 100.00.

Those wishing to apply as auditors should send an email with their updated résumé or CV to the TOChina Program Manager ( indicating which session(s) they would like to attend (day, time, lecturer).
Tuition fees depend on the status of the applicant, as shown by the following chart:
Applicant status
Students from University of Torino
and from partner institutions:

John Cabot University
University of Naples "L'Orientale"
Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales - INALCO
University of Trier
TOChina Alumni & Academic Network
EUR 790.00
All other students
EUR 990.00
EUR 1,980.00
These amounts cover tuition and working materials only, and must be paid in full by all admitted participants ahead of joining the program.

Application fees are non-refundable in all cases in which applicants renounce to participate, regardless of their motive.

Selections of participants from specific partner institutions are regulated through ad-hoc agreements with such institutions.
Students only may apply for the following type of scholarship:

FREETORINOscholarships covering accommodation and, partially, meals. Those who are awarded a FREETORINO scholarship will be lodged at one of Torino’s student halls (or similar kind of accommodation). A single or double (depending on availability) en-suite room and one meal per day (lunch) will be provided. These scholarships may be applied for by all School participants who are currently students (i.e. undergraduates who will not have completed their China-related degree at the time of the School, or applicants who either are studying at the postgraduate level or will be doing so in the next academic year). 

Applicants must not be resident in the Province of Torino (IT)

To be awarded a TOChina Summer School scholarship, candidates must:
• be currently enrolled in a university course, either as postgraduate or undergraduate students. The latter need to be enrolled in a university degree with a strong China focus;
• be residing outside the province of Torino;
• send relevant application documents: copy of CV, copy of university enrollment certificate, copy of most recent academic transcript;
• have paid their fees in full;
• have attended a minimum of 40 hours of lectures/seminars;

If not all conditions are met, scholarship recipients will be asked to reimburse the expenses for accommodation and meals by Fall.
how to apply
Competition to secure a place in this program can be very intense: early application is strongly recommended.
Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. No applications will be accepted beyond the deadline defined in the "Key Dates" section.

Applicants are requested to fill in the online application form.

Upon receiving candidates’ online application, the TOChina Program Manager will request supplementary documents (CV, enrollment letter, academic transcript, scanned copy of passport) via email, will check that compulsory requirements are met and pass their application package on to the Admissions Committee, which will be appointed by the Director of the Department of Culture, Politics and Society of the University of Torino, where the TOChina Hub is based.

Successful applicants receiving an offer must formally accept it and send proof of fees payment (direct bank transfer) via email to the TOChina Program Manager at by the set deadline (see the Key Dates section). Upon receiving these, the applicant will be officially enrolled in the program.

Applicants who should fail to send such confirmation and proof of fees payment by the set deadline will have their offer withdrawn. Any newly-available place will be offered to the highest-ranking applicants not selected in the first round.

Tuition fees range between EUR 790.00 and EUR 1,980.00, depending on the type of applicant (student, professional…). Please see the Fees section of this website for further information. All successful applicants must pay their full fees.

Applicants may be called for an interview before a final decision on their application is made.

All candidates will be notified of the outcome of their application at the earliest possible time.
Torino, Travel and Accommodation
Torino, the first capital city of united Italy in 1861, is an ancient place. Established by the Romans with a distinctive rectangular grid which mesmerizes visitors to this day, each moment in history has left its mark on the city, generating a legacy of culture, architecture and monuments. In 2012 and 2024 the New York Times devoted to Torino two of its “36 hours in…” pieces.

The Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games showcased a cosmopolitan city, still attached to its industrial tradition – the now global FCA car manufacture was founded here – while transforming into an Italian hub of technological and cultural innovation with a high quality of life. The UN System has its Staff College here (UNSSC), together with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO). UNESCO has recently approved the creation of a centre for research on world cultural heritage to be based in the baroque Venaria Reale palace, one of several world heritage sites in the area.

World-renowned Juventus football club – one of Torino’s glories – has its brand-new Stadium in town, alongside the world’s second-largest Egyptian antiques museum after Cairo (Museo Egizio), the Automobile Museum, the Cinema Museum (few know that in the early days cinema was being developed here), and the Mountain Museum (Museo Nazionale della Montagna), aptly located on Torino’s hills overlooking the Alps. Torino’s region – Piedmont (Piemonte) – means “at the feet of the mountains” and Europe’s most charming peaks are within a couple of hours drive.

Sampling the  local cuisine is a cultural must in Torino. Its informal trattoria, refinded top-end restaurants and exotic ethnic eateries make the city one of the undisputed world capitals of taste, including for its illustrious wine scene, whether one is looking for whites (Gavi, Arneis, Moscato), superb reds (Dolcetto, Grignolino, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco and Barolo), or even sparkling wines, which, through Martini & Rossi, gave rise to the tradition of Asti Spumante.

Seemingly closer to the Northern European no-nonsense, hard-working style than it is to Italy’s Mediterranean allure, Torino transforms at sunset: by aperitif time the streets are lit up and buzzing with people enjoying live jazz, exclusive dj sets, the local philharmonic orchestra performances, theatre and opera, but also shows, cabaret, literary cafes, street festivals and crazy notti bianche, all night non-stop events that animate the city streets until dawn.
Accommodation in Torino
As explained in the “Fees and Scholarships” section, TOChina staff will provide accommodation for the applicants who qualify for the Freetorino scholarship. All other participants will have to organize their stay in Torino independently. TOChina staff will do their best to advise successful applicants as  they seek adequate accommodation in town.

The following links may be a useful first port-of-call.
As for meals, all participants will be given a dossier during induction with a list of venues for all budgets, together with other useful tips.

For local transport information, best to log on to the GTT transport group. Please note that the  venue of the Summer School – though located in the city centre – may not be within walking distance of your accommodation.
faqs and contacts
Please note that our FAQs are updated on a regular basis and the majority of enquiries tend to be answered there. The TOChina Program Manager may choose not to reply to queries that are clearly answered here.
contact us
Due to international time differences, we strongly advise you to contact the TOChina Program Manager by email. We answer email enquiries every day. Should you need to contact TOChina by telephone, please email the TOChina Program Manager to fix an appointment.

The email address for enquiries on the TOChina Summer School is

We will respond as soon as possible to your email enquiry.  However, please be aware that during peak periods the office is very busy and there may be a turnaround time of approximately 48 hours.

The TOChina Hub Manager is Mr. Kavinda Navaratne. Upon appointment, arranged via email, he may be reached at:
online application
If you do not receive a reply in 48 hours, please write us via email.
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