The idea of creating a multidisciplinary association of Chinese studies in Portugal arose spontaneously, among some of the participants, at the “China and Europe” event, organized within the scope of the Arrábida Meetings, in May 2005.

With diverse training areas and research interests, an informal steering committee was created among the founding members – Carmen Amado Mendes, Dora Martins, Jorge Tavares da Silva, Renato Roldão, Rui d´Ávila Lourido, Rui Pereira, Zélia Breda – to coordinate the preparatory activities with a view to formalizing the creation of the future association, which would be called the Observatory for China.

The constitution of the first governing bodies was carried out by the founding members, through a secret vote, in Aveiro, in December 2005. Public presentation of the Observatory for China was held on July 5, 2006, at the Lisbon Urban Information Center and , in November of the same year, the deed of incorporation of the Association was drawn up, subsequently published in the Diário da República, III Série, no. 246, of 26/12/2005.

Currently, the Observatory for China has members in several universities and locations from north to south of Portugal (namely in Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon and Algarve). At an international level, it has associates in Brazil (Salvador) and China, namely in Beijing, Shanghai and the Macau Special Administrative Region.
Among the various registered members, we have senior and young researchers, former ambassadors, presidents of scientific councils at Portuguese universities, professors, historians, economists, directors of public and private organizations, journalists, film directors, businesspeople, among other professions.

The Observatory for China developed a wide and diverse set of activities in Portugal and abroad, from cultural to scientific, in order to stimulate the exchange of experiences and opinion debates, as well as the editing of publications in paper and digital format. Which led to, in 2012, the Observatory for China receiving the 2012 Culture Prize granted by the Chinese Community through the League of Chinese in Portugal.

At the level of protocols, protocols have already been signed with Lusophone cultural institutions (among them we highlight: UCCLA, Chá de Cachinde de Angola, Roça Mundo de São Tomé, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Center for the Study of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CEPLP) of the Institute of Regional Studies at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE- Beijing University of International Business and Economics), among others.