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Chinese Negotiating Behavior: Pursuing Interests Through ‘Old Friends’ Richard H. Solomon United States Institute of Peace


30th November 2011 History Books 1 Comment

Richard H. Solomon has had extensive experience negotiating with East Asian leaders. As assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, he negotiated the first UN “Permanent Five” peacemaking agreement, for Cambodia, and led U.S. bilateral negotiations with Vietnam.

Solomon has been president of the United States Institute of Peace since 1993. He is the author of seven books, including Chinese Negotiating Behavior: Pursuing Interests Through “Old Friends” (USIP Press) and coauthor of American Negotiating Behavior: Wheeler Dealers, Legal-Eagles, Bullies, and Preachers (USIP Press).

Chas. W. Freeman, Jr., has been a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War, and assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. He was a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1994-95 and is the author of Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy (USIP Press) and Diplomat’s Dictionary (USIP Press).

After two decades of hostile confrontation, China and the United States initiated negotiations in the early 1970s to normalize relations. Senior officials of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations had little experience dealing with the Chinese, but they soon learned that their counterparts from the Peoples Republic were skilled negotiators.

This study of Chinese negotiating behavior explores the ways senior officials of the PRCMao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and othersmanaged these high-level political negotiations with their new American old friends. It follows the negotiating process step by step, and concludes with guidelines for dealing with Chinese officials.

Originally written for the RAND Corporation, this study was classified because it drew on the official negotiating record. It was subsequently declassified, and RAND published the study in 1995. For this edition, Solomon has added a new introduction, and Chas Freeman has written an interpretive essay describing the ways in which Chinese negotiating behavior has, and has not, changed since the original study. The bibiliography has been updated as well.

Chinese Negotiating Behavior: Pursuing Interests Through ‘Old Friends’ (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books)

American Negotiating Behavior: Wheeler Dealers, Legal Eagles, Bullies, and Preachers

A goldmine of useful information and ideas that can help make American negotiators–and their counterparts–more effective and the process of negotiations better understood. –George P. Shultz, Hoover Institution

American Negotiating Behavior is a truly unique study of the American negotiator because it explores the foreign perception of American negotiators. –Zbigniew Brzezinski, Center for Strategic and International Studies

American Negotiating Behavior may well become the definitive primer on the art of effective cross-cultural negotiating. It should be an important part of the education of U.S. diplomat, as well as anyone engaged in international transactions. –Henry A. Kissenger, U.S. Secretary of State 1973-1977

This landmark study offers a rich and detailed portrait of the negotiating practices of American officials. It assesses the multiple influences cultural, institutional, historical, and political that shape how American policymakers and diplomats approach negotiations with foreign counterparts and highlights behavioral patterns that transcend the actions of individual negotiators and administrations. Informed by discussions and interviews with more than fifty seasoned foreign and American negotiators, Richard H. Solomon and Nigel Quinney argue that four distinctive mind-sets have combined to shape U.S. negotiating practice: a businessperson s pragmatic quest for concrete results, a lawyer s attention to detail, a superpower s inclination to dictate terms, and a moralizer s sense of mission. The authors examine how Americans employ time, language, enticements, and pressure tactics at the negotiating table, and how they use the media, back channel communications, and hospitality outside the formal negotiating arena. They also explore the intense interagency rivalries and congressional second-guessing that limit U.S. negotiators freedom to maneuver. A chapter by the eminent historian Robert Schulzinger charts the evolving relationship between U.S. presidents and their negotiators, and the volume presents a set of eight remarkably candid foreign perspectives on particular aspects of American negotiating behavior. These chapters are written by a distinguished cast of ambassadors and foreign ministers, some from countries allied to the United States, others from rivals or adversaries and all with illuminating stories to tell. In the concluding chapter, Solomon and Quinney propose a variety of measures to enhance America s negotiating capacities to deal with the new and emerging challenges to effective diplomacy in the 21st century.

American Negotiating Behavior: Wheeler Dealers, Legal Eagles, Bullies, and Preachers (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books)










  • One response to "Chinese Negotiating Behavior: Pursuing Interests Through ‘Old Friends’ Richard H. Solomon United States Institute of Peace"

  • Aaron Schubert
    16:45 on December 5th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    I’ve bought a copy so that I can negotiate with my gf’s parents. The book, obviously, is not written with that purpose in mind, but now I understand why Chinese people use so many allegories in conversations and are sticklers to certain facts and principles. This book is useful and has value even in non-political interactions. The book was written a while ago but is still generally applicable today.

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