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China's "quiet diplomacy": the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party.

The International Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP/ID) operates worldwide--but does so "quietly", as its activities and exchanges remain out of the media and scholarly spotlight. No ruling party or government in the world mounts anywhere near as extensive an effort to maintain links with domestic political parties, groups and personages, as does the CCP/ID. In recent years it has also played important roles in managing relations with North Korea, in assessing the causes and consequences of the collapse of the former Soviet Union and other communist party-states, and has also been a key conduit in relations with Asian, European and Latin America parties and NGOs.


The International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP/ID) is one of the most important, but least well understood, organs of China's foreign affairs system (waishi xitong). It is a relatively large and quite active organisation, operates worldwide (and throughout China) and performs a variety of important functions for the CCP and government. Yet it is a difficult institution to research and learn about, and many things that one would like to know about the ID are simply not knowable. (1)

Over the past eight decades of the ID's existence, it has performed a mixture of positive and negative roles. On the negative side, it has sought to subvert foreign governments and has smuggled weapons to insurgent groups. It has been a missionary of revolution, a propaganda agent, an intelligence collector, and supporter of brutal regimes such as the Khmer Rouge. More positively and more recently, however, the ID has served as an alternative diplomatic channel and secret envoy in sensitive negotiations with North Korea (and possibly Iran), a vehicle to learn from abroad to aid China's modernisation, a conduit to introduce foreign officials and experts to China and as a means to build ties with foreign societies and political parties. Like many other aspects of Chinese diplomacy, the ID has morphed from a disruptive and revolutionary institution into one that promotes reform at home and the status quo abroad.

While the ID operates relatively quietly and its activities are not reported in foreign media or analysed by scholars of Chinese foreign policy, the CCP/ID is not a secret or covert organisation (although it is involved in intelligence collection). (2) It is one of the few Central Committee organs that maintains a public website (<>) which is quite informative about the Department's structure and activities. The current CCP/ID director, Wang Jiarui, even claimed that there is an initiative underway to "further enhance the transparency of Party diplomacy". (3) The ID now sports a shiny new 14-storey glass office building in a prominent location on West Chang'an Boulevard in central Beijing with "CPC International Department" emblazoned on a red neon sign on top of the building.

There are various reasons why the ID and its role in Chinese diplomacy are not well known outside of China (or inside China for that matter). First, the Foreign Ministry is viewed (appropriately) as the primary institutional locus of foreign policy making and implementation in China and thus receives the lion's share of attention in Chinese diplomacy. (4) Although the ID does become involved in sending high-level Chinese leaders abroad and hosting foreign leaders and officials in China, its main functions are not at the state-to-state level--hence the Foreign Ministry monopolises the foreign affairs spotlight. Secondly, party-to-party relations (the ID's principal responsibility) are not normally considered as normal or important parts of a nation's foreign policy--although they have always played important roles for communist states. (5) Third, the ID intentionally keeps a low profile, carrying out its exchanges without publicity. For these reasons, the CCP/ID has remained "under the radar" as its activities have gone essentially unnoticed by foreign media, scholars, governments and intelligence agencies.

However, the ID has not always maintained such a relatively low profile. As discussed below, it was a prominent foreign policy actor during the 1950s and 1960s, playing a particularly important role prior to and during the period of the Sino-Soviet Alliance (1950-60) and Split (1960-2), as well as in China's Third World revolutionary diplomacy during the 1960s. In those days, some observers noted that "The International Liaison Department (ILD) had an almost unlimited charter in external affairs, wielding far greater influence than its government counterpart, the Foreign Ministry.... The ILD operated both behind and above the government." (6) This was certainly true in intra-bloc relations, but also throughout the developing world and Europe. After the Cultural Revolution, as China moved into the reform era, the ID lowered its profile and altered its activities while the Foreign Ministry simultaneously expanded the PRC's governmental ties around the world. As the ID has concentrated its efforts on political parties and non-governmental organisations, its work has been complimentary to that of the Foreign Ministry and other ministries that deal with their government counterparts abroad. Today the ID plays a number of important roles in China's relations with foreign countries all around the world, as well as being a key conduit to different organisations and reforms inside China.

Roles of the CCP/ID

The ID is one of five principal departments of the Central Committee of the CCP. (7) The Department simplified its English name from the International Liaison Department (ILD) to the International Department in 1995, although the original term Zhongyang Duiwai Lianluo Bu has been maintained in Chinese. (8) Today the CCP/ID is responsible for a number of functions and activities, including:

* Developing and maintaining ties with fraternal socialist/communist parties and organisations worldwide;

* Maintaining and developing party-to-party relations with a wide variety of non-socialist/communist political parties (except fascist or racist parties) worldwide;

* Administering "private sector" liaison organisations to facilitate contact with think tanks, NGOs, and individuals worldwide;

* Collecting current intelligence and information on the foreign policies, domestic political scene and political parties, and societies in various nations worldwide;

* Sending special investigation teams abroad to research important topics related to China's reforms;

* Contributing to the work of Chinese embassies worldwide (usually monitoring domestic politics and liaising with domestic political parties, movements, and personages);

* Working with other CCP Central Committee departments and State Council ministries to facilitate their work overseas (e.g., assisting the United Front Department concerning Taiwan, the External Propaganda Leading Group/Information Office of the State Council concerning China's image abroad, or the National People's Congress on parliamentary exchanges);

* Arranging visits of central-, provincial-, municipal- and occasionally sub-provincial level CCP officials abroad;

* Hosting foreign leaders, politicians, party officials, ex-officials, as well as a range of foreign policy specialists, on tours of China.

While exchanges with political parties abroad can be sub-divided into a number of different types (see below), the above list of ID responsibilities and activities is the broad range of current ID work. Chinese documents, however, do not define them as such. A survey of a variety of CCP books and documents published over the past decade invariably list an identical (verbatim) set of seven functions for the ID:

1. According to Central Committee directives and principles of exchanges with other parties, and international considerations, organise and establish friendly exchanges with foreign political parties.

2. Research the international environment, important international questions, bilateral and multilateral relationships, important social and political ideational trends and certain countries' political parties and policies.

3. Promote the international communist movement, Marxism-Leninism, socialism and other related theories.

4. Promote the international worker's movement, push forward and strengthen the national democratic movement and promote the people's struggle for social justice in various countries.

5. Promote the activities and international people's movement to safeguard world peace; increase the reputation and impact in the world of the Communist Party of China and People's Republic of China; work hard to ensure a peaceful international environment in the interests of socialist development in China.

6. Explore direct assistance in the Four Modernisations' work; carry out economic and technological cooperation in the course of party relations and mass organisation exchanges.

7. Entrusted by the Central Committee, arrange the foreign affairs work of mass organisations, and organise foreign exchanges of Central level and other Party organs. (9)

Such generic descriptions do not reveal much about the actual work of the ID, but it is nonetheless useful to see how the ID's work is defined in inner-Party discourse.

The ID receives about 200 delegations from abroad and dispatches approximately 100 delegations overseas every year. (10) In recent years the ID has been directly involved--more so than in the past--in sensitive diplomatic issues. According to Director Wang Jiarui, "[In 2005] we actively mediated the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through inter-party channels; kept communication between parties in difficult times of China-Japan relations; promoted talks at a sensitive time when the Palestine-Israel situation is variable; discussed with parties in different countries how to establish a just and reasonable international order and economic order; and pushed the reform of the United Nations towards a just and reasonable direction." (11)

The ID has indeed been very active in recent years maintaining direct channels of communications with North Korea--for China as well as the other members of the Six Party Talks. This has been particularly useful for the US, which (under the Bush administration) has refused to talk directly bilaterally with the government in Pyongyang. It would not be surprising if it played a similar intermediary role between Washington and Tehran, or other nations with which the US does not have diplomatic relations. As Director Wang indicated, the ID has also kept the channels open to the LDP (and other Japanese parties) during the Koizumi era, when official contacts were frozen. The ID is very active in its exchanges with the foundations (Stiftung) of German political parties, all of which (expect one) maintain representative offices in China, and European parties and NGOs in general. In the German case, this afforded China excellent intelligence and contacts as Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition came to power.

By maintaining ties with non-ruling parties throughout the world, the ID has been able to keep excellent track of domestic politics in various nations and to have established contacts with a wide range of politicians and experts who subsequently staff governments after they come to power. This kind of "co-optive diplomacy" sometimes pays dividends for the CCP.

History of the CCP/ID

The history of the CCP's (and the ID's) interactions with foreign communist parties is long and complex. It has evolved considerably over the years.

Following its establishment in 1921, the CCP engaged in exchanges with the Soviet Communist Party and Comintern during the First, Second, and Third Internationals. (12) During this time, the Comintern advised the CCP on tactics during the Shanghai underground period and (following the 1927 "White Terror") in the Jiangxi Soviet base area. (13) From 1922 (when the CCP became a member of the Comintern) until 1943, the Comintern dispatched a total of ten representatives to advise the CCP on revolutionary strategy and tactics. (14)

The advice given by the Comintern advisors, and the training received by CCP personnel (especially the so-called "28 Bolsheviks") in the Soviet Union at the Comintern-run "Toilers of the East University" and Sun Yat-sen University was often at odds with Mao's thinking about revolutionary strategy and tactics. (15) At first, the Comintern encouraged the CCP into a united front with the Kuomintang (KMT) in order to penetrate the KMT and organise "a bloc within". (16) The strategy was intended to disrupt some KMT activities and to use the united front cover in order to expand CCP recruits and organise trade unions among the urban proletariat. This Comintern advice was a classic urban insurrectional strategy, as the Soviet Bolsheviks had experienced. This strategy collapsed with Chiang Kai-shek's sudden purge and massacre of the suspected communists in Shanghai in April 1927.

Thereafter, the CCP split, with one faction remaining underground in Shanghai and another following Mao and Zhu De to the rugged mountains in Jiangxi Province. In their new base area, in 1931, the CCP assigned Wang Jiaxiang to direct the Party's foreign affairs, and in 1934 the CCP established its first "foreign ministry" with Wang in charge (Wang would subsequently go on to lead the ID). (17) Otto Braun and other Comintern advisors continued to counsel Mao on tactics against the KMT military's tactics of "annihilation". Mao and Zhu ultimately rejected this advice, as they had done earlier in Shanghai, and the Red Army broke through the KMT cordon and embarked on the Long March.

Nearly two years after fleeing the Jiangxi Soviet the Red Army remnants reached the mountain base area of Yan'an in northern Shaanxi Province. There, in 1937, the CCP recouped and reorganised. One of Mao's first moves was to dispatch Wang Jiaxing to Moscow. (18) Wang returned a year later, in August 1938, and was assigned to direct the daily work of the CCP Military Commission. From 1939-49, Wang shuttled between a number of Party positions--including running the Central Committee Research Department (1941-2), managing the daily needs of Military Commission members (1942-3) and administering the CCP Propaganda Department (1943-4). In 1946, after becoming a member of the Central Committee at the Seventh CCP Congress, Wang was sent back to Moscow for another year. When he returned in May 1947 he worked in the northeastern liberated cities on propaganda and Party organisational work.

As part of the CCP's Yan'an reorganisation, the "communications section" (jiaotongju), which had existed since 1927 to liaise with the Comintern and interact with other foreigners, (19) was upgraded to a Central Committee department and provided a larger staff. (20) It was this organ that hosted the "Dixie Mission" of the US Army, and the CCP-KMT mediation missions of Generals George C. Marshall and Patrick Hurley. The Communications Office had close ties with the "Social Department" (Shehui Bu), established in February 1939, which was the intelligence agency forerunner to the CCP Investigation Department (1941-83) and contemporary Ministry of State Security (1983-). (21) In 1942, according to one source, the CCP replaced the Communications Department with an Overseas Work Commission (Haiwai Gongzuo Weiyuanhui, usually abbreviated simply as the Hai Wei), which added the responsibilities of "researching the revolutionary potential in Eastern countries and among overseas Chinese". (22) The Hai Wei also established a training bureau (peixun ban) to train Asian communists from Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Japan and Burma.

In September 1948, after the Xibaipo Conference, the CCP established the Third Bureau of the United Front Department (Tongzhanbu Disanshi) to take over responsibility for overseas Chinese and liaison with foreign parties--thus "merging together the Party's united front and international work". (23) In March of 1949, after the Red Army had seized Beijing and the CCP occupied the Zhongnanhai next to the Forbidden City, the Third Bureau changed its name to the Second Bureau. In February 1950 the Central Committee directed that the Second Bureau be converted to the "Eastern Countries Revolutionary Situation Research Office", as a step towards expanding CCP assistance to other revolutionary movements in Asia. But, in August of that year, United Front Work Department Head Li Weihan recommended that the CCP needed its own international [liaison] department (Guoji Lianluo Bu). The Central Committee approved the recommendation on 12 January 1951.

Thus, in March 1951, the CCP/ILD (Zhongyang Lianluo Bu) was formally established and its work demarcated from that of the United Front Department. Wang Jiaxiang was recalled as ambassador to Moscow and was appointed the first director of the ILD.

For the first half of the 1950s, the new ILD concentrated on building relations with Asian communist parties on the one hand and the East European and Soviet Communist Parties on the other. Before and after the 1955 meeting of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation meeting in Bandung, Indonesia, the ILD expanded its links with socialist parties and movements in Africa and the Middle East. This included inviting numbers of youth, women's, and worker's delegations from these countries to China. At the CCP's Eighth Party Congress in September 1956, 290 representatives from communist and worker's parties in 56 countries sent delegates at the invitation of the ILD. (24) However, two months later, things would change for the ILD. In November, Nikita Khrushchev delivered his "secret speech" to the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)--thus beginning the Sino-Soviet fissure and competition for allegiance among communist and other "national liberation" movements worldwide.

Chinese and Soviet Communist Party relations became progressively more strained in the wake of the secret speech, and the ILD found itself at the nexus of the frictions. In 1961 the ILD established a temporary office (linshi banzi) to draft propaganda in the "polemical war" (lunzhan) against Soviet "revisionism", including the renowned "Nine Letters" and "Twenty-Four Articles". (25) The denouement came in an explosive confrontation between an ILD delegation (led by Peng Zhen) and a CPSU delegation (led by Mikhail Suslov) in Bucharest in 1962. Thereafter, for the next 20 years, countering the CPSU and Soviet Union became the core mission of the ILD.

Also in 1962, as the famine and economic catastrophe of the Great Leap Forward gripped China, ILD Director Wang Jiaxiang and Deputy Directors Wu Xiuquan and Liu Ningyi wrote to Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Foreign Minister Chen Yi, suggesting that the only way out of China's crippling economic difficulties and international isolation was to improve relations with the US and the Soviet Union, avoid needless warfare with neighbours such as India (which China had just attacked) and reduce support for revolutionary insurgent struggles around the world. These heretical policy recommendations became known as the "three peaces (reconciliations) and one reduction" (san he yi shao). (26)

Wang's advocacy was attacked by Kang Sheng, Politburo czar for intelligence and internal security. Kang had long had misgivings about Wang Jiaxiang, and they developed a personal animus and institutional rivalry. As Kang's own political star was rising and his involvement in the Sino-Soviet polemics increased, he had designs on the ILD. Wang's advocacy of relaxing tensions with the West provided just the opening Kang needed, and he used it as a pretext to remove Wang from his position--arguing that Wang's "three peaces" should be replaced with an uncompromising policy of the "three non-peaces" (san wu he): no peaceful competition, no peaceful coexistence and no peaceful transition to socialism. Under attack, Wang lived at home under a form of house arrest and reportedly spent his time reading.

When the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966, the ILD was quickly affected. Kang Sheng, now a member of the infamous "Cultural Revolution Small Group (CRSG)", turned his sights on the ILD soon after he and the CRSG had disposed of Beijing Mayor Peng Zhen. (27) First, Kang Sheng dispatched his deputy in the Central Cultural Revolution Group, Wang Li, nine times to investigate the ILD, and Wang also wrote the big-character poster (dazibao) attacking Wang Jiaxiang on 9 June 1966, accusing him of pursuing a revisionist and capitulationist line in foreign affairs by advocating the "three peaces and one reduction" policy. (28) Kang then personally confronted Wang at a "struggle session" (douzheng hui) of all ILD staff on 21 June 1966, charging him with turning the ILD into a "bastion of revisionism". Wang was purged. A year later his deputies Wu Xiuquan and Liu Ningyi, and a number of other ILD cadres, followed.

Wang was subjected to humiliations and beatings at the hands of Red Guards before being put under house arrest near Beihai Lake in Beijing. (29) He tried in vain to vindicate himself by writing letters appealing directly to Zhou Enlai and Mao throughout this period denying that the "three peace and one reduction" initiative (for which he was vilified) was his original idea. (30) Wang's family also suffered greatly during this period. His son, niece and sister all committed suicide stemming from Red Guard persecution. On 23 October 1969, Wang was transferred to do hard labour in Xinyang, Henan. (31) He contracted pneumonia there and was hospitalised until some associates got word about his condition to Zhou Enlai and Mao in 1970, who approved an order that Wang could be transferred back to the capital for treatment in October 1970. (32) After months of hospitalisation, Wang recovered his health and began his letter-writing campaign afresh, appealing to Zhou Enlai for reinstatement. Finally, at the Tenth Party Congress in August 1973, Wang Jiaxiang was politically rehabilitated and reappointed as a Central Committee member. Wang Jiaxiang finally succumbed to heart failure on 25 January 1974 at the age of 68.

During the Cultural Revolution, ILD activities ground to a virtual (but not complete) halt. In the words of former ID Director (and current Vice Foreign Minister) Dai Bingguo, "During the Cultural Revolution, the ultra-leftist trend of thought fomented by Kang Sheng and the Gang of Four dealt a heavy blow to the international work of the Party, and the scope of the Party's foreign exchanges continually contracted." (33) The ILD went through a year of internal struggle sessions and purges between June 1966 and August 1967. (34)

Formal relations with foreign parties during this period were reduced from 80-90 to around 10, (35) including the Albanian and Romanian Communist parties, the Vietnamese Communist Party, Pathet Lao, Khmer Rouge, and insurgent communist parties in Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. The ILD, in conjunction with the PLA General Logistics Department, funnelled small arms and money to these groups, and set up a number of long-range radio transmitters in Yunnan Province for broadcast into Southeast Asia. In 1965, on the eve of the Cultural Revolution, the ILD had also been instrumental in sending arms and advice to the Indonesia communists (PKI) prior to their failed 1965 coup d'etat attempt (and subsequent bloodbath). The collapsed coup stained the ILD's reputation domestically, and China's reputation regionally. The ILD also continued to be deeply engaged in the polemical war against the "revisionist and social-imperialist" Soviet Union during these years. To the extent that China maintained a presence on the global stage during the Cultural Revolution years, as the Foreign Ministry ceased to function, it was through the subversive activities of the ILD. During these years the ILD was overseen by Kang Sheng who became de facto Director during 1967-71 following the purge of Liu Ningyi.

In 1971, the ILD experienced a partial recovery with the appointment of a new director, Geng Biao, although until the Gang of Four was overthrown in 1976 the Department remained traumatised and its activities attenuated. Like everything else in China, the ILD enjoyed a full reconstitution and revival after the downfall of the Gang. The ILD was given responsibility for establishing party relations with African liberation movements in 1977 (in order to compete with the Soviet Union), Yugoslavia in 1978, West European Communist parties in 1979, the Soviet and East European communist parties in 1985 and European social democratic parties in 1986. (36) The decision to engage the latter was a significant step for the CCP, as it had previously eschewed ties with such parties, but was part of the broader normalisation of Chinese diplomacy. It also helped China in several aspects of domestic reforms (see below). This opening to the non-socialist world and revitalisation of ties with fraternal parties was overseen by Wu Xueqian and Qiao Shi. Both had spent more than 15 years in the ILD before being appointed as deputy directors in 1978 following the Third Plenum. (37) During the mid-1980s, Wu was appointed Foreign Minister while Qiao was promoted to the Politburo Standing Committee (following a one-year stint as ILD Director). For these two individuals, a career in the ILD served as a springboard to much higher office.

Current Personnel and Organisation of the CCP/ID

Except for a brief time in the early 1980s, the directors of the CCP/ID have enjoyed fairly lengthy tenures. Table 1 lists CCP/ID Directors from 1951. The first six were political "heavyweights", while the last five have been of substantially lower profile and lesser rank in the Party hierarchy (at the time of their service).

Unlike most of his predecessors, current Director Wang Jiarui's career path was not within the ID. He worked his way up through the Jilin and Shandong provincial apparat, as well as serving in the State Council Economic and Trade Commission in Beijing during the early 1990s. In 2000 Wang's career track changed as he was appointed Vice Minister and Deputy Director of the CCP/ID. (39)

Wang is currently assisted by five deputy directors: Ma Wenpu, Zhang Zhijun, Liu Hongcai, Chen Fengxiang and Tan Jialin. All of their career paths illustrate that work in the ID tends to be a lifelong job, except that spending some time working in a city Party Committee (gaining first-hand experience at the local level) seems to be a requirement for promotion from Director General to vice-ministerial status. (40) Another notable career pattern is at least one tour of duty in the political section of a Chinese embassy abroad. Each deputy director works his way up through a different geographical bureau within the ID. Thus, they together offer the Department global coverage and presumably each one retains some oversight responsibilities for their former bureaus.

Ma Wenpu has served with the ID since 1970. He worked his way up through Bureau VII, the bureau responsible for North American, Oceanic, and Scandinavian affairs--including 12 years as Director-General of the Department (1982-94) and a four-year stint in the Chinese Embassy in Sweden. In 1994-5 Ma was dispatched to Hunan Province to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Changsha Party Committee, but returned to Beijing in 1995 to become Deputy Secretary-General of the ID in 1995 and was promoted to the rank of Vice Minister two years later. At 61, Ma is the eldest and most senior ranking of the ID vice-ministers today, and has broad responsibility for the ID, running it on a day-to-day basis. He was born in Hebei Province in 1945.

The current vice-minister in charge of Bureaus V, VII and VIII is Zhang Zhijun. A very suave but tough-minded individual, Zhang is one of the more public faces of the ID. He travels the world constantly and widely, in part because of these qualities and in part because he is extremely proficient in English. In lieu of sending a PLA representative, Zhang was dispatched as the Chinese representative to the high-level 42nd Munich Conference on Security Policy in February 2006. (41) Not all ID personnel are as sophisticated as Zhang Zhijun (indeed, interactions with many in China, Europe and the US over the years indicate that many are quite ideologically rigid). (42) Zhang was born in Jiangsu Province in February 1953. During the Cultural Revolution, at age 16, he was "sent down" to the countryside to be a construction worker in remote Heilongjiang Province. When Beijing University reopened in 1971, Zhang gained entry as an "affirmative action" worker-peasant-soldier student (gong-nong-bing xueyuan), where he joined the CCP the same year. In 1973 he was sent to the UK for study, as part of a group of hand-selected students which included current Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and China's current ambassador to the US, Zhou Wenzhong. Zhang returned to Beijing in 1975 after two years in London and was immediately assigned to work in the ID. Over the past 31 years, Zhang has worked his way up through the ranks, spending 21 years in the ID Research Bureau (a euphemism for the intelligence collection arm of the ID) before being assigned to work in the Party Committee of Zibo City, Shandong. In September 2001, he was brought back to Beijing and appointed as ID Vice Minister. (43)

Liu Hongcai was born in 1955 and is a native of Liaoning Province. He attended Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute from 1971-5 and studied Japanese. He joined the CCP in his final year and was assigned to the ID upon graduation. From 1975-89, he worked his way up through Bureau II (Northeast Asia and Indochina) and then served as First Secretary (Political) at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo. After returning to China in 1992, Liu spent a year serving as a Vice Warden on a city district court in Jining, Shandong. There is then a seven-year gap in his resume before he returned to the ID Bureau II, becoming the Director General in 2000. In 2003 he was appointed as ID Vice Minister.

Chen Fengxiang was born in 1955 and is a native of Inner Mongolia. A graduate of the Russian Department at Beijing University in 1974, he also joined the Party while at Beida. However, rather than immediately going into the ID upon graduation, Chen returned to work in Inner Mongolia for three years before returning to teach in the International Politics Department at Beida from 1979-84. In 1984, Chen was recruited into the ID where he was assigned to the Soviet/East European Department (Bureau VI). In 1987-8 he was sent to Moscow as an exchange student for a year of further language training. He returned to work in Bureau VI as Deputy Director from 1988-1992 and was then sent back to Moscow to serve as First Secretary in the Chinese Embassy from 1992-4. There is then a three-year gap in his published curriculum vitae. From 1997-8, Chen was assigned as a county magistrate in a court in rural Shaanxi Province. He returned to the ID in 2003, serving as Deputy Secretary General and then Vice Minster in 2004.

Finally, Tan Jialin's background is the least clear. Born in 1954 in Jilin Province, Tan joined the Party in 1984. He started to work in the ID in 1975, but it is unclear in what capacities he served before his appointment as Deputy Director of the ID General Office in 1994, a position he served in through 2003. The General Office is the main administrative office in all CCP organs--responsible for all personnel affairs, arranging meetings, document classification and circulation, archiving, etc. In 2003 he became the Deputy Party Secretary of the ID and was promoted to the rank of Vice Minister in 2004.

Organisationally, the ID is composed of six functional offices, eight geographic bureaus, one affiliated "front" association and a publishing house (see Figure 1). (44) Altogether, in 2005, the ID had approximately 300 staff working in China and another 30 abroad. (45)

The functional offices include:

* The General Office is responsible for coordinating and managing all Department activities, paper flow and meetings; prepares memoranda for decision-making at ministerial, vice-ministerial and bureau levels; organises media briefings; liaison with ID personnel abroad; liaison with other CCP and government departments at central, provincial and sub-provincial levels.

* The Research Office undertakes studies of the international situation, international political parties, domestic politics in foreign countries, the international socialist movement, contemporary capitalism and current global issues.

* The Protocol Bureau is responsible for all arrangements for receiving foreign dignitaries, delegations and individuals visiting China at the invitation of the CCP or ID and organises all CCP or ID delegations abroad.

* The Personnel Bureau is responsible for ID personnel recruitment, assignment, removal, retirement, training, payroll, housing and general welfare. The bureau works in tandem with the CCP Organisation Department and municipal authorities in carrying out these functions.

* The Party Committee is responsible for organising all Party activities within the Department such as political study sessions, rectification campaigns, improvement of workstyle and liaison with other CCP departments. It is also charged with carrying out discipline inspection (anti-corruption) work within the ID.

* The Information Centre compiles data on international issues and political parties around the world for use in exchanges and research work. It compiles background briefing materials for ID personnel before going abroad or receiving foreign visitors. It also maintains the Department's internet website and is in charge of communications and automation within the Department and between the ID and its overseas personnel.


The ID also maintains a "front association" for liaison with foreigners: the Chinese Association for International Understanding (Zhongguo Guoji Jiaoliu Youhao Xiehui), or CAIFU. CAIFU maintains office, reception, meeting and hotel space in and adjacent to the Wanshou Hotel in western Beijing. CAIFU has published the monthly journal Guoji Jiaoliu (International Understanding) since 1981, which offers an interesting survey of ID activities, party-to-party relations, conferences held in China on foreign affairs, China's foreign policy and international diplomatic events. While the CCP/ID's new high-rise building on West Chang'an Boulevard contains modern reception and conference facilities, the ID continues to use the refurbished Wanshou Hotel facilities for lodging and receiving many foreign visitors (the Wanshou is owned by the ID). Many ID staff live in this neighbourhood.

The ID still maintains a large compound at 4 Fuxing Road in western Beijing (still the Department's formal address). This is the old headquarters of the ID and is still used for ID staff housing, research offices and some other ID purposes. Several buildings in this compound have also undergone renovation, reopening in 2005. This is also where the ID's publishing house is located--the Contemporary World Publishers (Dangdai Shijie Chubanshe). The press publishes a range of studies on foreign political parties, (46) the international socialist movement, (47) and a very useful annual compendium on the ID's exchanges. A sampling of its publications can be found at: <http://>.

The ID's eight geographic bureaus are organised in a somewhat unorthodox way, but this system dates back several decades:

* Bureau I (South and Southeast Asian Affairs)

* Bureau II (Northeast Asia and Indochina Affairs)

* Bureau III (West Asia and North African Affairs)

* Bureau IV (African Affairs)

* Bureau V (Latin American Affairs)

* Bureau VI (East/Central Europe and Central Asian Affairs)

* Bureau VII (North America, Oceania and Scandinavian Affairs)

* Bureau VIII (Western European Affairs)

These bureaus rotate their personnel through appropriate embassies abroad. Not every Chinese embassy overseas includes ID personnel, but approximately 30 do. (48) This includes Washington, Ottawa, London, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Rome and a variety of countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The ID attaches abroad do not openly identify themselves as such, usually identifying themselves simply as Foreign Ministry personnel. Indeed, part of their duties involve normal embassy functions and reporting. It is also assumed (but hard evidence is lacking to substantiate) that ID attaches work closely with Ministry of State Security (undercover) personnel abroad for the purposes of intelligence collection and agent recruitment.

The Activities of the CCP/ID

The ID performs a wide variety of functions as noted above. Of these, clearly its principal mandate is to maintain and build links with foreign political parties. While the ID originally dealt only with communist, socialist, workers', leftist and other "fraternal" parties, this self-imposed restriction has long since been abandoned (in the 1980s). Today, the CCP (through the ID) maintains ties with "400-odd political parties and organisations in over 140 countries". (49) These include communist, worker, socialist, social democratic, labour, liberal, Christian democratic and conservative parties. (50) The sheer volume of party-to-party exchanges is large: from 1983-2003 the ID claims to have received 4,500 delegations from foreign political parties, totalling 26,000 people, and sent abroad 1,500 delegations involving 10,000 people. (51) The ID receives around 200 delegations and sends abroad about 100 per year--boasting that, "On average, we bring a foreign group to China every day and send a delegation out every other day." (52) In 2004 for example (the last year for which detailed data is available), the ID exchanged the following number of delegations with these selected countries: (53)

* Asia: 1-3 per country except for North Korea (10); South Korea (7); Laos (9); Malaysia (4); Mongolia (5); Singapore (4); Japan (13); Thailand (4); India (6); Vietnam (10).

* Africa: 2-3 per country, except for Angola (6) and South Africa (4).

* Europe: 1-3 per country except for Poland (5); Germany (12); Russia (6); France (8); Romania (4); Malta (4); Spain (4).

* Americas: 1-2 per country except for Argentina (3); Brazil (3); Cuba (4); Chile (4).

* Oceania: Australia (5); New Zealand (4); Micronesian islands (6).

Although, by the end of 2001 the CCP/ID maintained formal ties with 418 political parties in 147 nations, there is one notable exception to this rule: the US. (54) This is not for wont of trying. Efforts by the ID to establish formal and informal links with the Republican and Democratic National Committees, and the affiliated International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), date to the late 1980s. In early 1989 the ID approached Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Lee Atwater and apparently achieved agreement (according to the ID) on establishing a formal CCP-GOP relationship--but the initiative was scuttled by a combination of the June 4 Incident and Atwater's declining health and subsequent death. (55) Various approaches to the RNC and DNC were subsequently made through the US Embassy in Beijing and the Chinese Embassy in Washington, but to no avail. Establishing such ties is a very high priority for the ID, and they are constantly pressing and probing for openings to establish such ties. This even figured in the 2005 US-China "Senior Dialogue" discussions between Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and then Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick. (56) As the former ID Director, Dai has a particular interest in pursuing the subject and establishing formal links with the two principal US parties.

Although the ID has been frustrated in establishing formal ties with the two US political parties, links have been developed with the IRI and NDI--both of which were permitted to establish training programmes in China in the areas of rule of law, local election monitoring and civil society. The NDI also arranged for a small delegation of ID personnel to attend the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, apparently the first time that such a courtesy had been extended to the CCP. This caused some conflicts, as the NDI also hosted delegations from Taiwan political parties--but, in the end, the ID decided that it was more important to have a foot in the door and attend the convention than to uphold its usual position of not participating in any activities where Taiwan officials or political personages were present.

The ID engages in a number of different varieties of exchanges. Seven distinct types can be distinguished. The first is sending Party leaders abroad. These trips are undertaken under Party auspices, although in the case of the CCP General Secretary, who doubles as State President, they are joint Party-state visits. In 2005 these included Hu Jintao's visits to North Korea and Vietnam, while Politburo members Wu Guanzheng visited Europe, Li Changchun visited Africa, Luo Gan visited Latin America and all Central Committee department heads led delegations abroad. (57) Travel abroad for all Politburo and Central Committee members who do not hold a government position is arranged through ID channels. The ID also sends abroad provincial and municipal Party secretaries.

A second category is hosting foreign party leaders, usually from socialist countries. All four of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's secretive visits to China during 2000-6 have come under ID auspices. Kim has been shown an array of sites aimed to impress him about the key components of China's economic reforms: China's "Silicon Valley" in Zhongguancun, Beijing agricultural research institutes, the Shanghai skyline, Three Gorges Dam, bustling seaport of Yantian in Guangdong Province, five-star White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou and the export-processing Zhuhai and Shenzhen Special Economic Zones. (58) Kim's January 2006 visit, which took him for the first time to the booming southern province of Guangdong, clearly had an impact on Kim. "The progress made in the southern part of China, which has undergone a rapid change, and the stirring reality of China deeply impressed us," Kim said in a banquet toast to Chinese President and CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao at the end of his visit. (59) The ID has also hosted a series of delegations of North Korean bureaucrats, managers, economists and officials to China to receive briefings and view the economic reforms first-hand. This kind of "economic reform diplomacy" is an important part of China's broader strategy for North Korea.

More broadly, the ID is responsible for maintaining ties with the four remaining ruling communist parties in the world: North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba. A number of delegations are dispatched to/from these countries every year. (60) For example, in 2004, the ID exchanged ten delegations each with North Korea and Vietnam, nine with Laos and four with Cuba. (61)

Cuba has been of growing interest in recent years. One ID assessment effusively praised the Cuban Communist Party's accomplishments, including: combining indigenous ideology (Marti Thought) with Marxism-Leninism; refusing to adopt a Western multi-party system; rejecting the Soviet model as incompatible; stressing social stability above all; organising special study sessions for Party members; using the mass media to mobilise patriotism; creating Party organisational linkages to urban neighbourhoods and rural villages; establishing a system whereby Party officials must meet with and "report back" (hui bao) to citizens and conduct opinion polls among the population; allowing two or more candidates to stand for local Party elections; not permitting special privileges among officials and senior Party members; maintaining a "zero tolerance" policy towards corrupt officials; promoting Party members based on merit and careful vetting; and streamlining central and provincial level government to promote efficiency. (62) Clearly, the "Cuban model" contains elements of growing interest to the CCP. CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao reportedly heaped praise on the Cuban Communist Party at the Fourth Plenum of the 16th Party Congress in 2004 which discussed the lessons of other ruling parties for the CCP. (63)

A third category of ID activity is to participate in the international conference circuit of political parties (either as full participant or observer). Examples include the Socialist International, Christian Democrats International, St. Paul Forum and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties. (64) The ID, in fact, hosted the Third International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Beijing in September 2004. The meeting brought together 350 delegates from 81 political parties in 35 Asian countries, including 8 heads of state. (65) On the last day of the conference, the convocation agreed on a twelve-point "Beijing Declaration" of principles and areas of cooperation. (66)

A fourth category of ID work is to publicise China's policies and achievements overseas. This is done in a variety of forums. One recent example was ID Vice-Minister Zhang Zhijun's speech at the aforementioned 2006 Munich Conference on Security Policy (it is curious that China chose not to send Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan or another high-ranking PLA representative). This work parallels and supplements that undertaken by the State Council Information Office and External Propaganda Leading Group (the same organisation). (67)

A fifth category relates to China's ongoing battle with Taiwan in the diplomatic arena. ID activities in this area are concentrated in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as West Africa. Of the 14 countries in Latin America with which the PRC does not have diplomatic relations, the ID claims to have developed Party relations in 11 of them. (68) The ILD played a key role in getting heads of state from five of these countries to attend the October 2006 China-Africa Summit in Beijing (despite the absence of diplomatic relations).

A sixth category of exchanges are geared towards advancing China's economic modernisation. For example, former ID Director Dai Bingguo claimed in 2002 that:
 In recent years, we have used Party channels to recommend partners
 to economic departments and provide them with information, thus
 facilitating a number of business cooperative projects. Coordinated
 with the development of the western region [of China], we have
 guided foreign investment into this region by attracting funds and
 projects from both institutions and individuals. In addition, we
 have arranged inspection tours of this region for hundreds of
 delegations from foreign political parties and organisations. At
 the same time, we have arranged study visits to foreign countries
 by more than 30 CCP delegations headed by leaders of Party
 committees in a dozen western provinces and regions. (69)

A final category of exchanges involves inspection visits abroad (duiwai kaocha dui) to study specific subjects. As CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao has stated, "Fresh experiences during the Party building process should be carefully summarised and helpful practices of foreign political parties should be studied and borrowed to enrich the CCP's governance." (70)

These subjects run the gamut of topics. In Western Europe, for example, such delegations have been organised to study higher education, social science research, pension systems, stock markets, state-owned and privatised transportation, health care and other features associated with the European "social democratic (welfare) state". In other areas, the ID claims to have dispatched "more than ten special research teams abroad (during 2001] to investigate such issues as party building, clean government and the relationship between markets and society". (71) Another high-priority example involved studying the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet and East European communist party-states. In 2001 CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin instructed the ID to send a delegation to Russia to discuss the causes and consequences of the collapse of the USSR and CPSU. (72) After its trip, the ID investigation team summarised five lessons to be learned by the CCP:

1. Mistakes are inevitable in building socialism, but they should be admitted rather than ignored and negated.

2. Firmly adhere to Communist Party leadership, but continuously seek to improve the Party leadership's capabilities--through organisational Party building, strengthening propaganda and thought work among cadres, implementing democratic centralism and a system of inner-Party supervision, improving the quality of cadres, etc.

3. Take economic development as the core, seek to improve productivity and the standard of living before embarking on political reform (this was Gorbachev's greatest mistake).

4. Emphasise the unity of different ethnic groups and fight separatism.

5. Beware of the West's "westernisation" and "division" strategies (Xi-Hua, fen-Hua zhanlue) and be highly alert to the West's "peaceful evolution" strategy. (73)

While not earth-shattering in their insights, the ID's investigation joined a number of others undertaken by other CCP organs. (74) The ID also cooperated in a joint "Sino-American Conference on the Causes of Collapse of the Soviet Union", in 2004. The conference brought together leading Soviet Watchers from the US and China. Through such inquiries and exchanges, the ID has claimed that, "We acquired a thorough understanding of the deep-seated reasons why the communist parties in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries lost their political power after several decades of governance, and why some old parties long in power in other countries were successively forced out of office, and the lessons to be drawn from their experiences. This deepened our understanding of how political systems in other countries change and how foreign political parties rise and fall." (75)

Conclusion and Outlook

This study has explored the roles, history, organisation and activities of the ID of the CCP. We have seen that the CCP/ID has played an important role in Party affairs and the foreign affairs of the PRC for more than eight decades. Although it naturally focused on managing relations with other communist parties for much of this time, during the 1980s (before the collapse of communist parties elsewhere) the ID began to diversify its partnerships.

This diversification was a by-product of China's broadened diplomatic relationships after the 1970s, but it was also mandated by a desire to use the ID as a conduit to enter into exchanges with and study foreign political parties and foreign social and economic practices. It is difficult to measure with much precision just how much has been learned from these exchanges that have benefited China's domestic reforms, but each delegation sent abroad is required to write up its principal observations for circulation to other Central Committee departments and state organs. (76) To be sure, such ID exchanges have provided an important prism through which the CCP and other organisations in China monitor the outside world and absorb lessons for China's own modernisation. This kind of information gathering goes well beyond traditional intelligence collection (although, to be sure, the ID also engages in this activity).

One key dimension of this function has been to expose CCP leaders at the provincial and sub-provincial levels to the outside world--often for the first time. Many provincial Party secretaries, governors, mayors and other leading local cadres are taken abroad on ID delegations every year. A related role that it has, but shares with the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA), is to invite noteworthy ex-politicians to China. While CPIFA tends to invite former heads of state and ministerial-level officials, the ID concentrates on those who are important within their political parties. During 2005, for example, former Republican Party stalwarts Tom Ridge and Newt Gingrich were hosted by the ID. This is another example of how the ID tries to "talent spot" and cater to current or ex-party officials who may one day assume (or reassume) official office. On occasion, it has also facilitated research in China by foreign China specialists. Another supplementary role played by the ID has been to assist in the external propaganda work (duiwai xuanchuan gongzuo) of the CCP, by "telling China's story" abroad to various foreign audiences. (77)

Given the vast range of inter-party relationships that the ID now engages in (400+ in 140+ nations), the CCP/ID must be considered as an important component of China's foreign relations work. While its work decreased for awhile following the Sino-Soviet Split, and again immediately after the collapse of the former Soviet bloc, the ID has reinvented itself in the post-Cold War era and now operates globally as never before. Given its exchanges with so many democratic parties abroad, it could even become a conduit for fashioning transformation of the CCP from a Leninist Party into some new kind of proto-democratic hybrid. (78) At a minimum, analysts of China's diplomacy and foreign affairs would be well advised to keep their eye on the CCP's ID. Its diplomacy may be quiet, but it is effective.


(1) The author is grateful to anonymous readers of earlier drafts of this article for posing a variety of questions about the ID, and has attempted to respond to those for which data is available. However, given the relative dearth of information available about the ID, many good questions are simply not answerable. Scholars wishing to learn about the ID are forced to work with a handful of published materials and an inability to systematically interview personnel in the ID.

(2) Scholars of Chinese foreign policy have similarly been neglectful of the ID's roles and activities. A. Doak Barnett's and Lu Ning's studies include only very brief descriptions of the CCP/ID. David M. Lampton's (ed.) similarly contains only one limited discussion of the ID (in Lu Ning's chapter--which is lifted verbatim from his book), and Yufan Hao and Lin Su's (edited) volume contains no references to the ID. See A. Doak Barnett, The Making of Foreign Policy in China: Structure and Process (Boulder: Westview Press, 1985); Lu Ning, The Dynamics of Foreign Policy Decision Making in China (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000); David M. Lampton (ed.), The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy in the Era of Reform (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001); Yufan Hao and Lin Su (eds.), China's Foreign Policy Making (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005).

(3) "IDCPC Minister on CPC International Work in 2005", Renmin ribao internet edition, in FBIS, 28 Dec. 2005.

(4) While the Foreign Ministry is involved in making foreign policy in China, it is also well understood that many foreign policy issues are debated and decisions made among Chinese leaders through the Foreign Affairs Leading Group (FALG), leaving the Foreign Ministry (and other organs) to implement them. The ID has always had a seat on the FALG, although Lu Ning claims that it lost this seat in 1998 (in Lampton, op cit., p. 53). Bureaucratically, as a Central Committee Department, the ID reports directly to the Central Committee's Foreign Affairs Office (Zhongyang waiban) and General Office (Zhongyan bangongting).

(5) Nor is there a scholarly study available on global party-to-party relations.

(6) John Byron and Robert Pack, The Claws of the Dragon (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), p. 324.

(7) The others are the Organisation Department, Propaganda Department, United Front Department and the Central Discipline Inspection Commission.

(8) The name conversion occurred around the same time that the CCP Propaganda Department changed its English name to Publicity Department (although also maintaining the original in Chinese). The abbreviations ILD and ID are used interchangeably throughout this article.

(9) Translated by the author from Wang Fuchun, Waishi guanli xue gaikuang (Survey of Foreign Affairs Work) (Beijing: Beijing University Press, 2003). Virtually identical wording can be found in the following CCP descriptions of the ID: Zhongguo gongchandang da zidian (Encyclopedia of the Chinese Communist Party) (Beijing: Zhongguo guoji guangbo chubanshe, 1991); Zhongguo gongchandang dangwu gongzuo da Zidian (Encyclopedia of CCP Party Work) (Beijing: Xinhua chubanshe, 1993); Zhongguo gongchandang zuzhi gongzuo quanshu (Encyclopedia of CCP Organisational Work) (Beijing: Baishan chubanshe, 1996); Zhongguo gongchandang dangyuan xuexi xiuyang da zidian (Encyclopedia for Study and Training by CCP Members) (Jinan: Shandong renmin chubanshe, 1991).

(10) "External Relations of the Communist Party of China" (25 Sept. 2003), printed description given to the author by the CCP/ID in October 2003. This figure coincides with ID Minister Wang Jiarui's claim that in 2005 "over 300 delegations and 2000 members have exchanged visits through inner-party channels". Ibid.

(11) Ibid.

(12) The classic study on the Comintern is Julius Braunthal, History of the International, 1914-1943 (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1967).

(13) Much of this section draws upon Wang Fuchun, Waishi guanli xue gaikuang, ibid.; and Li Jian, Tianqian tongtu: Zhongguo gongchandang duiwai jiaozhu jishi (A Natural Moat and Thoroughfare: Recollections of the Chinese Communist Party's Foreign Exchanges) (Beijing: Dangdai shijie chubanshe, 2001). Also see Ye Yuehai, Jianguo hou zhongguo gongchandang zhengdang waijiao lilun yanjiu (Theoretical Research on the Chinese Communist Party's Party Diplomacy since the Establishment of the Country) (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe, 2003).

(14) Cai Wu, "A Review and Re.ections on the 80 Years of Foreign Contacts of the Communist Party of China" (1 July 2001) on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at < article/20010701.htm> [28 Nov. 2006].

(15) For more on the Comintern's training programs and efforts in Asia see Peter Hopkirk, Setting the East Ablaze: Lenin's Dream of an Empire in Asia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).

(16) See Tony Saich, The Origins of the First United Front in China (Leiden: Brill, 1991).

(17) Michael Hunt, The Genesis of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996), p. 227.

(18) Wang's biography for this period is derived largely from Zhang Heng and Jian Fei (eds.), Zhonggong zhongyang zuzhi renshi jianming tupu (Brief Atlas of Central Committee Organisational Personnel) (Beijing: Zhongguo guangbo dianshi chubanshe, 2003), p. 163.

(19) Ibid., p. 108.

(20) Michael Hunt, The Genesis of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy, op cit., p. 315 (n. 31).

(21) Zhang Heng and Jian Fei (eds.), Zhonggong zhongyang zuzhi renshi jianming tupu, op cit., p. 109.

(22) Wang Fuchun, Waishi guanli xue gaikuang, op cit., p. 212.

(23) Ibid.

(24) Ibid., p. 213.

(25) Ibid.

(26) Thomas Kampen, "The CCP's Central Committee Departments (1921-1991): A Study of Their Evolution", China Report 29, no. 3 (1993): 308.

(27) Zhong Kan (pseudonym), Kang Sheng pingzhuan (A Critical Biography of Kang Sheng) (Beijing: Hongqi chubanshe, 1982).

(28) Roderick MacFarquahar and Michael Schoenhals, Mao's Last Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2006), p. 97.

(29) Wang's tortuous experiences during the Cultural Revolution are described in detail in Xu Zehao, Wang Jiaxiang zhuan (Biography of Wang Jiaxiang) (Beijing: Dangdai Zhongguo chubanshe, 2006), pp. 374-96.

(30) Xu Zehao, Wang Jiaxiang nianpu, 1906-1974 (Chronicle of Wang Jiaxiang) (Beijing: Zhongyang wenzhai chubanshe, 2001), pp. 500-3.

(31) Ibid., p. 505.

(32) Ibid., p. 507.

(33) Dai Bingguo, "Exploiting the Advantages of Party Diplomacy in the Service of the Overall Interests of the Work of the Entire Party and Whole Country--In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China" (Jan. 2001), available on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <> [28 Nov. 2006].

(34) These are described in Xu Zehao, Wang Jiaxiang nianpu, op cit., pp. 496-502.

(35) Wang Fuchun, Waishi guanli xue gaikuang, op cit., p. 214.

(36) Ibid., p. 215.

(37) Thomas Kampen, "The CCP's Central Committee Departments", op cit.

(38) Zhang Heng and Jian Fei, Zhonggong zhongyang zuzhi renshi iianming tupu, op cit., p. 110.

(39) Wang's biography can be found on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <> [28 Nov. 2006].

(40) Biographies of all these individuals are available on China Vitae website at <www.> [20 June 2006].

(41) Zhang Zhijun, "Speech at the 42nd Munich Conference on Security Policy", available on Munich Conference on Security Policy website at <http://www.securityconference. de/konferenzen/rede.php?menu_2006=&menu_konferenzen=&sprach&=en&id=17 3&>[20 June 2006].

(42) This is a personal impression, but also one shared by American and European colleagues who have interacted with the ID.

(43) Zhang Zhijun biography (mimeo); and from China Vitae website at <http:ww.chinavitae. com/biography_display.php?id=2142> [20 June 2006].

(44) See "Office Lineup" on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <>; interview with ID official [17 July 2004] Washington, DC.

(45) Estimate given in interview with ID personnel, Nov. 2005.

(46) See, for example, Editing Group, Xingshuai zhilu: Waiguo butong leixing zhengdang jianshe de jiangyan yu jiaoxun (The Road of Rise and Decline: Lessons and Experiences in the Building of Different Types of Foreign Political Parties) (Beijing: Dangdai shijie chubanshe, 2002).

(47) Ding Hongju, Fengbei yu jingshi: 20 shiji de shehuizhuyi (A Monument of Vigilance: 20th Century Socialism) (Beijing: Dangdai shijie chubanshe, 2002); Editing Group, Zhongguo gongchandang duiwai gongzuo gaikuang (Survey of the Chinese Communist Party's External Work) (Beijing: Dangdai shijie chubanshe, 1992-2004 annual editions).

(48) Ibid.

(49) "External Relations of the Communist Party of China" (25 Sept. 2003), mimeo. The information in this document was also published on Zhongguo wang (internet edition), 25 Sept. 2003, in FBIS, ibid., CPP20030926000053.

(50) Ibid.

(51) Ibid.

(52) Ibid.

(53) Editorial Board, Zhongguo gongchandang duiwai gongzuo gaikaung 2004 (Survey of CCP External Work, 2004) (Beijing: Dangdai shijie chubanshe, 2005). This volume (series) lists every delegation, their members, mission, interlocutors, itinerary and working agenda, agreements signed and their general conclusions.

(54) Figure given in Dai Bingguo, "Entering a New Phase in Party Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics that Reflects the Tenor of the Times", Qiushi (8 Oct. 2002) on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <> [28 Nov. 2006].

(55) Information courtesy of former US Foreign Service Officer.

(56) Author's discussion with Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, 4 Nov. 2005, Beijing.

(57) "IDCPC Minister on CPC International Work in 2005", Renmin ribao, 28 Dec. 2005, in FBIS, ibid., CPP20051228501009.

(58) Philip Pan, "In China, Kim Vows Commitment to Talks", Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2006; Joseph Kahn, "The Secret's Out: North Korea's Leader Did Visit China", New York Times, 19 Jan. 2006.

(59) Quotation from North Korean News Agency, as reported in Kahn, ibid.

(60) This is evident in the annual compendia of ID activities, Zhongguo gongchandang duiwai gongzuo gaikuang, op cit.

(61) Ibid.

(62) Editing Group, The Road of Rise and Decline, op cit., pp. 60-70.

(63) Willy Wo-Lap Lam, "Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao Draw Inspiration from Castro", Pingguo shibao (Hong Kong), 24 Oct. 2005, in FBIS-CHI, ibid.

(64) Dai Bingguo, "Entering a New Phase in Party Diplomacy", op cit.

(65) See "Third Asian Political Parties' Conference Starts in Beijing", People's Daily Online, 3 Sept. 2004 at < html> [28 Nov. 2006].

(66) See "Beijing Declaration, 2004", Xinhua Online, 5 Sept. 2004 at <http://news3.> [28 Nov. 2006].

(67) For further discussion of external propaganda efforts, see David Shambaugh, "China's Propaganda System: Institutions, Process and Efficacy", The China Journal, no. 57 (Jan. 2007).

(68) "Impressive Achievements in Pragmatic and Innovative Foreign Contacts of the Communist Party of China" on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <> [28 Nov. 2006].

(69) Dai Bingguo, "Entering a New Phase in Party Diplomacy", op cit.

(70) Hu Jintao, "Helpful Practices of Foreign Political Parties Should be Studied, Borrowed", Xinhua, 30 Dec. 2005, in FBIS, ibid., CPP20051230424003.

(71) Sun Dongmin and Xu Baokang, "Advancing with the Times Creatively and Innovatively: Dai Bingguo Discusses the CCP's International Work", Renmin ribao, 18 Dec. 2001 on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <http://www.> [28 Nov. 2006].

(72) Dai Bingguo, "Exploiting the Advantages of Party Diplomacy ...," op cit.

(73) Zhong lian bu ketizu (International Department's Specialised Topics Research Group], "Su-Gong kuatai he Sulian jieti jie zhizheng Gongchandang ren de jingshi" (The CPSU's Fall from Power, Collapse of the Soviet Union, and Ruling Communist Party Member's Vigilance], Dangjian yanjiu neican, no. 4 (2001): 13-5.

(74) See David Shambaugh, China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation (Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and University of California Press, forthcoming 2007), Chapter 3.

(75) Dai Bingguo, "New Characteristics of the Communist Party of China's International Work Since the Fifteenth National Congress", Renmin ribao, 11 Oct. 2002 on the International Department of Central Committee of CPC website at <http://www.> [28 Nov. 2006].

(76) Interview with ID official, 3 Nov. 2005.

(77) For further information on China's external and internal propaganda systems, see David Shambaugh, "China's Propaganda System: Institutions, Processes and Efficacy", op cit.

(78) See David Shambaugh, China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation, op cit., Chapters 4-5.

David Shambaugh ( is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, and Director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at The Brookings Institution. His research interests include the Chinese Communist Party, China's foreign relations and military affairs, and the international politics of Asia.
Table 1. Directors of the International Department (38)

Wang Jiaxiang 1/1951-3/1966

Liu Ningyi (acting) 5/1966-4/1968

Kang Sheng (de facto) 4/1968-1/1971

Geng Biao 1/1971-1/1979

Ji Pengfei 1/1979-4/1982

Qiao Shi 4/1982-7/1983

Qian Liren 7/1983-12/1985

Zhu Liang 12/1985-3/1993

Li Shuzheng 3/1993-8/1997

Dai Bingguo 8/1997-3/2003

Wang Jiarui 3/2003-
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Author:Shambaugh, David
Publication:China: An International Journal
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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