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.
KeywordsChina 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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