The Contemporary China Centre was set up in 1970 at The Australian National University as a research facility concerned with scholarly social science analysis of post-1949 China. In 2010, the Centre merged with the Department of Political & Social Change (PSC). PSC academics who specialize in China and thus are members of the Centre include Tamara Jacka, Andrew Kipnis, Sally Sargeson, Luigi Tomba and Jonathan Unger.
A corridor of the ANU Coombs Building accommodates a number of the Centre's members, including Andrew Kipnis and Jonathan Unger, several PhD students, the staff of The China Journal, and three long-term Visiting Fellows. The latter are Anita Chan, a sociologist who conducts research on Chinese labour relations; Robert Miller, a political scientist who specializes in eastern Europe; and Peter Van Ness, who specializes in international relations. Each year the Centre also attracts a steady stream of departmental visitors for shorter terms. The Centre houses the Transformation of Communist Systems Project.
The Centre has a thriving variety of publications. Above all, it is home to one of the leading international journals on contemporary China, The China Journal.
The Centre produced a commemorative series of lecture papers, the George Ernest Morrison Lectures in Ethnology, and the first several decades of the annual Lectures are available from the Centre as booklets.
The Centre also publishes a number of books jointly with M. E. Sharpe Publishers, New York, as part of its Contemporary China Books series.