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China's Rising Foreign Ministry
Practices and Representations of Assertive Diplomacy
Dylan M.H Loh


April 2024
240 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503638204
Ebook ISBN: 9781503638679

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China's rise and its importance to international relations as a discipline-defining phenomenon is well recognized. Yet when scholars analyze China's foreign relations, they typically focus on Beijing's military power, economic might, or political leaders. As a result, most traditional assessments miss a crucial factor: China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). In China's Rising Foreign Ministry, Dylan M.H Loh upends conventional understandings of Chinese diplomacy by underlining the importance of the ministry and its diplomats in contemporary Chinese foreign policy. Loh explains how MOFA gradually became the main interface of China's foreign policy and the primary vehicle through which the idea of 'China' is produced, articulated, and represented on the world stage. This theoretically innovative and ambitious book offers an original reading of Chinese foreign policy, with wide-ranging implications for international relations. By shedding light on the dynamics of Chinese diplomacy and how assertiveness is constructed, Loh provides readers with a comprehensive re-appraisal of China's foreign ministry and the role it performs in China's re-emergence.

About the author

Dylan M.H Loh is Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Global Affairs at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He tweets @dylanloh.

"Dylan M.H Loh persuasively argues against traditional state-centric understandings of China's rise and its place in the international system, calling attention to the marked growth in budget and influence of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in ways that are suitable to both Chinese public opinion and to the country's top leadership."

—June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami

"Dylan M.H Loh's historically in-depth and up-to-date case study provides a unique institutional perspective to explain China's increasingly assertive foreign policy. A timely addition to the scholarship of China's international behavior, this book is strongly recommended for those who want to learn about Chinese foreign policy and foreign relations as well as contemporary international geopolitics."

—Suisheng Zhao, University of Denver

"This remarkable book reveals the inner workings of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and demonstrates the profound significance of practice theory in unraveling the complex web of social dynamics that have propelled China towards becoming an assertive global power. Dylan M.H Loh convincingly shows that to understand China's ascent, one cannot overlook the diplomats whose everyday activities embody a rising China."

—Rebecca Adler-Nissen, University of Copenhagen

"China's Rising Foreign Ministry provides a rich, readable assessment of China's evolving diplomacy in Southeast Asia and beyond."


"China's Rising Foreign Ministry will surely become a key reference for all those that are interested in understanding China's international behaviour and the reaction to it, especially in the Southeast Asian regional context."

—Andrea Ghiselli, Cambridge Review of International Affairs