The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. It also maintains a regional office in McLean, Virginia near Washington D.C. in the United States. The Foundation was established in 1989 in honor of the late President Chiang Ching-kuo.
The International Sinological Center at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, was established in cooperation with Charles University in November 1997 as the first major branch of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation overseas. The Centre is sponsored by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (the CCK Foundation).
The main objective of the Centre is to promote Sinology in Europe with the aim of enriching and further developing research and study of Chinese culture, in the widest sense of the word, history and language at Charles University and academic institutions and universities throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
The first director of the Prague Centre was Prof. Oldrich Král who headed the organization from November 1997 until June 2001. In June 2001 Assoc.
Prof. Olga Lomová was appointed the Centre’s new director. Simultaneously with her appointment, the Centre set forth the following main guidelines and fields of interest of the Centre for the coming three-year period (2001–2004). The centre operates on the basis of three-year agreements, the last one having been signed for the period to June 2008.
The Centre organizes programs held at Charles University, coordinates the Small Grants Programme and cooperates in Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Fellowship. Support given to the Institute of East Asian Studies helps to expand the library which is open to scholars and students from the region. Other grants and projects are administered directly from Taipei Headquarters.
The Centre builds on the past tradition of Czech Sinology, creates a stimulating environment for both teachers and students in Prague, and brings together all Czech Sinological institutions.
Simultaneously, the Centre plays an important role in interdisciplinary projects at Charles University.
The Centre also mediates the results of research of Sinology to the wider Czech audience. In this way the Centre aims to contribute to a better understanding of Taiwan and China and arouses the interest of future generations of students and researchers.
Within the frame of the European region, the Centre emphasizes cooperation with Sinology departments in Central and Eastern Europe, supporting regional academic exchanges, including student travel grants and collaborative research.
The Centre will serve as a bridge between European and American Sinology, closely co-operating with the American CCK Centre at Columbia University.
The Centre will support the cooperation between Czech Sinology and Taiwanese scholarly institutions, as well as scholarly institutions in Mainland China. It is hoped that the Centre will strengthen academic exchanges between Chinese and European scholars, thus contributing to overcoming the still-existing barriers between scholarly research in the West and in the East.
The main fields of scholarly interest are defined on the basis of already existing teaching and research programs. At the same time the Centre will attempt to bridge serious gaps in Prague sinology—primarily the absence of studies about Taiwan, as well as cultural studies related to China in general, including studies of Chinese religion and philosophy.