Growing reputation of the Party's training academy attracts increasing number of high-profile foreign visitors, reports Tang Yue.
While it's always been famous in China as a must-go place for all senior officials preparing for leadership positions, the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China - usually simply known as the Central Party School - is now an increasingly popular destination for foreign leaders during their tours of the country.
The past decade has witnessed a growing number of foreign leaders or heads of international organizations visiting and addressing the students.
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has visited the school, so has Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council. Other guests include the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Donald Rumsfeld, the former United States' secretary of defense.
This year alone, the Communist Party's cadres-training academy has played host to three serving prime ministers. Italy's Mario Monti visited in March, and was followed by Thailand's Yingluck Shinawatra a month later.
Both were paying their first visits to China since taking office and insisted on including the school in their itineraries.
Last month, the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid his second visit to the school - seven years after he became the first foreign official to deliver a speech in Chinese there.
"So many foreign leaders want to visit our school now. I'm afraid we have to give priority to high-ranking officials and top scholars because of the busy schedule," said Gong Li, director of the school's Institute of International Strategic Studies.
Gong revealed that Rumsfeld turned down a suggestion from the Chinese government that he should deliver a speech at Peking University when he visited China in 2005. Instead, the US politician insisted on calling at the Party school.
He had good reason. Unlike regular educational institutions, the Central Party School gathers together the country's rising leaders. Since its foundation in Jiangxi province in 1933, the institution, which moved to the capital in 1949, has trained more than 60,000 officials through a range of programs.
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