The Chinese at the Negotiating Table: Style and Characteristics

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The Chinese at the Negotiating Table: Style and Characteristics

By Alfred D. Wilhelm, Jr.
National Defense University Press, 1994
281 pp. $12.00
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The author of this original study of Chinese negotiating behavior is a career military officer, who completed his service as the U.S. Army attache in Beijing, and has a Ph.D. in political science. He is now a vice president of the Atlantic Council.

The study carefully reviews Sino-American negotiations at Panmunjom in the 1950s and at Geneva and Warsaw in the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to consulting the records of these negotiations, the author interviewed more than 40 individuals from China, Japan, and Korea who participated in or were knowledgeable about Sino-American and Sino-Japanese negotiations. The result is a carefully nuanced study of Chinese negotiating tactics that should be useful to diplomats and scholars in the years ahead.

Among his most interesting conclusions, Wilhelm says the Chinese government was prepared to normalize relations with the United States as early as the ambassadorial talks in 1955. The Chinese felt they went more than halfway toward U.S. requirements but that U.S. domestic politics prevented a breakthrough.