Cambridge established the UK's first Professorship of Chinese in 1888, and the University has educated many leading Chinese scholars and Sinologists.

Cambridge alumni include the poet Xu Zhimo, the author Louis Cha, the Nobel Laureate Roger Tsien, and the athlete Deng Yaping. Today, Chinese students form the largest international group from a single country at Cambridge.

The Department of East Asian Studies is the only centre in Europe to engage in extended research in Chinese linguistics and the second language acquisition of Chinese. The Needham Research Institute is the home of the Science and Civilisation in China project and serves as a scholarly global resource for the history of science, technology and medicine in the region. The Cambridge Judge Business School runs the China Executive Leadership Programme and maintains close links with Chinese corporate and government clients.

In China, Cambridge academics are engaged in a broad range of collaborations with Chinese colleagues, in areas as diverse as food security, the epidemiology of autism, labour economics, and the origins of agriculture.

The Cambridge China Library is a landmark project from Cambridge University Press, comprising a series of new English translations of books by Chinese scholars that have not previously been available in the West.