Chinese Official Negotiators: Mindset and Practice

ASIA FORUM with Xiaojun Liang

Chinese Official Negotiators: Mindset and Practice

Thursday, June 14, 2012, 10:00-11:30


With a fast and consistent increase in economic development over the past 30 years, China has become an increasingly important global player. As a central stakeholder, China is involved in both bilateral and multilateral negotiations on topics such as trade disputes, climate change, and both regional and global security cooperation – all of which are pressing issues in today’s world. However, Chinese official negotiators have developed a distinctive Chinese mindset and practice that is far from professional as well as unfamiliar with their Western counterparts. Why are they sometimes competitive, yet at other times collaborative and even yielding? Terms such as arrogant, sincere, deceptive, Guanxi (opportunistic relationships) and Mianzi (saving face), which were often used to describe and explain Chinese negotiators, are not enough to get a complete picture of Chinese official negotiators. This presentation is going to identify four types of these negotiators, describe each one’s mindset and practice of negotiation, as well as examine them from three perspectives of traditional culture, revolution culture and Chinese bureaucracy.

Xiaojun Liang is an Associate Professor at the department of Diplomacy, China Foreign Affairs University and a current guest researcher at the ISDP.


Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Ebba Mårtensson at