Negotiating Culture with Peking

Negotiating Culture with Peking


Author/Editor: Gerald Stryker


Publisher/Sponsor: Foreign Service Institute
Supplier: Department of State
Report Date: 1974
Document Number:
Classification: Declassified
Nautilus Filing Number: 750
Box Number: 25


Go to the full report.



Normalizing tensions with China became a main focus of the Nixon Administration starting with the ping-pong diplomacy trip of 1971 and Nixon’s famous visit to Peking in 1972.  The Shanghai Communique established a commitment from both sides to cultivate understanding between the two peoples through cultural exchange.  China had been actively participating in this kind of exchange for years with many countries both formally and informally.  Negotiating this exchange for the U.S. could present various challenges, as the Chinese government preferred oral agreements to formal written agreements and were wary about certain aspects of exchange, namely in the fields of social science and humanities.

This report examines the future of cultural exchange between China and Canada, Britain, France, Sweden and America.  It focuses on China’s goals, negotiating tactics and methods of exchange.

“The first is that no matter whether the talks are held in a foreign country or in Peking itself, the Chinese negotiators decide nothing of importance on the spot. Everything must be referred to a higher level. Negotiating the visit of a group of Chinese journalists to the U.S., for example, was described as ‘tough’. Final decisions were obviously made in Peking, not New York.” (page 9)


This report was released to the Nautilus Institute under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).