It is a member of Network of East Asian Think-tanks (NEAT), which is a mechanism for research and academic exchange, and a platform for the second-track diplomacy in the regional cooperation among “10+3" countries in East Asia
The East Asian Institute (EAI) was set up in April 1997 as an autonomous research organization under a statute of the National University of Singapore. It is the successor of the former Institute of East Asian Political Economy (IEAPE), which was itself the successor of the Institute of East Asian Philosophies (IEAP), originally established by Dr Goh Keng Swee in 1983 for the study of Confucianism.
The Chairman currently in office is Professor Wang Gungwu and the Director, Professor Zheng Yongnian.
The main mission of EAI is to promote both academic and policy-oriented research on East Asian development, particularly the political, economic and social development of contemporary China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), and China's growing economic relations with the region and the world at large, including Japan, Korea and ASEAN.
To promote academic exchange and to enable its research findings to reach out to a wider segment of the public, EAI organizes seminars and publishes research papers on a regular basis. EAI also participates in joint research projects with government ministries and statutory boards in Singapore, promotes collaborative programmes with similar institutions in the region as well as organizes regional and international conferences and workshops on East Asian issues.
The long-term vision of EAI is to develop into the region's foremost research institution on East Asian development. While its initial focus was on contemporary China, the Institute has extended its research efforts to Japan and Korea as it builds up its resources.