Although China’s history of relations with other countries and peoples is an ancient one, the development of a modern diplomatic service came much later than for other countries. It was not until the early twentieth century that China established a fully functioning Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the full “professionalization” of the service under Communist rule came only after China’s opening to the outside world in the 1980s. Chinese diplomats are known for exceptional discipline and for linguistic and regional expertise rather than their diplomatic skills. The newer generation of Chinese diplomats has been recruited from a wider variety of international relations and public policy schools, however, with skills that match those of other leading diplomatic services.


China Diplomacy Diplomats Foreign policy Foreign ministry 



The authors wish to thank the following diplomats and scholars who were consulted in researching and writing this chapter: Richard Bush, Iris Ma Eisenman, Joshua Eisenman, Zhu Haiquan, J. Stapleton Roy, David Shambaugh, Andrew Scobell, Jun Wang, and Lanxin Xiang.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.2018 Master of Arts Degrees, Global Policy Studies and Russian, East European, and Eurasian StudiesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.2017 Master of Arts Degrees, Global Policy Studies and Asian StudiesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public AffairsThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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