Chinese commercial negotiating style

by Lucian Pye

This study analyzes Chinese commercial negotiating practices for two reasons. The first is to minimize future misunderstandings in such activities, and the second is to provide guidance for government-to-government negotiations. The research procedure used involved interviews with U.S. businessmen and bankers with extensive experience in the China trade, and--in order to control for U.S. cultural factors--interviews with comparable Japanese bankers and businessmen. What was learned from the experiences of businessmen is of value in government-to-government negotiations, even though there are substantial differences between commercial and diplomatic relationships. At present, both Beijing and Washington seek a more cooperative and complementary relationship. By better understanding the Chinese style of negotiating in the commercial realm, we should be able to avoid misunderstandings and achieve desired goals in the political realm.

Originally published in: a book with the same title, Cambridge, Mass., Oelgeschlager, Gunn & Haine Publishers, Inc., 1982.

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