Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 12/2011

New Foreign Policy Actors in China

Linda Jakobson, Dean Knox

September 2010

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


The dynamic transformation of Chinese society that has paralleled changes in the international environment has had a direct impact on both the making and shaping of Chinese foreign policy. To understand the complex nature of these changes is of utmost importance to the international community in seeking China’s engagement and cooperation. Although much about China’s foreign policy decision making remains obscure, this Policy Paper make clear that it is possible to identify the interest groups vying for a voice in policy formulation and to explore their policy preferences. Uniquely informed by the authors’ access to individuals across the full range of Chinese foreign policy actors, this Policy Paper reveals a number of emergent trends, chief among them the changing face of China’s official decision-making apparatus and the direction that actors on the margins would like to see Chinese foreign policy take.